Rings and Medallions
Disclaimer: I own nothing but the usual, the rest belongs to JK Rowling, JRR Tolkien, and Disney.
Author's Note: Wow. It's been a really long time, hasn't it? Don't worry, though, I'm never going to abandon this fic, I just need time to recuperate and come up with new ideas. Yeah. Either way, please enjoy the following chapter.
Thanks to my good friend and beta, Paladin Steelbreaker.
The time before the battle was spent with last-minute reorganising and checkups, and Harry had spent it walking to and fro along the Deeping Wall checking on his spells to make sure that they still held. The pirate was still rather worried about the small hole that led the Deeping Stream out of the fortress, and had therefore placed most of the wizards in that vicinity since they had the most chance of success to deal with something. Now the green-eyed man was standing approximately at the middle of the wall, surrounded by elves at all sides, and not too far from Jacqueline and Haldir.
"Elves get some flowers,
Dwarves get a ring,
Men get a chapel and a choir to sing,
Pirates get an organ to play,
'cause Elf and Pirate are getting married today!" Harry hummed to himself, sending the elves closest to him into silent fits of chuckles, and making Haldir's eyebrow twitch and Jacqueline hide her blushing face in her hands. More than one teasing look was sent towards the couple, and Harry's eyes were glittering in mirth – especially when neither of the two in question made any protest.
He would have gone on embarrassing the two if Théoden hadn't suddenly showed up. "Do you think it appropriate to act like that before battle?" the king wondered. There was curiosity in his voice, but no aggravation – at least nothing that was focused on the pirate captain.
Harry blinked at him. "What battle? OH! That battle! Sorry, sorry, I forgot for a moment."
This time it was Théoden who blinked, while the elves seemed to have more or less gotten used to the inherent insanity of all pirates before arriving at Helm's Deep.
"Not to worry, mate," Harry declared, putting a friendly arm around the king's shoulders. "Everythin' 's ready as can be. All we 'ave to do now 's to wait fer those bloody Uruk-Hai to get their arses over 'ere so that we can kick 'em to kingdom come."
The King of Rohan spent a minute attempting to decipher the green-eyed man's response, and in the end surmised that what the man had been – in his unique way – trying to say was the following: all was prepared, and now they could only wait for the enemy to make the first move. For a moment he also wondered what this Kingdom of Kome had to do with things, but disregarded it quickly. "I see," he said instead, then sighed deeply. "Captain Potter-Sparrow, I apologise for my words earlier today. It has-"
Harry cut the proud man off, easily catching in just how much it cost the king to say something like that. "Already forgotten, mate. Though ye shoul' be a bit more careful next time, aye?" with that he delivered a pat on Théoden's shoulders, and went back to his place along the wall.
Théoden blinked in surprise upon finding himself standing on the battlements above the gates, and amongst his own men. He hadn't even noticed that the pirate had led him this way! He turned to watch the green-eyed man make his way through the elves, then shook his head. Just like he would never understand wizards, he would never understand pirates – and it was worse since the person in question was both of those things. He focused on Gamling. "Well, my friend, is everything ready?"
"Everything is ready." The other man replied.
There was a silence between them, before the king spoke again. "Do you trust your king, Gamling?"
"Your men will follow you to whatever end, My Lord."
"Whatever end, hmm?" the king sighed tiredly, suddenly wishing he had Harry's ability to stay so light-hearted in all situations. "Where is the horse and the rider? Where is the horn that was blowing? They have passed like rain on the mountains. Like wind in the meadow. The days have gone down in the West, behind the hills, into shadow. How did it come to this?" he wondered quietly as he watched boys no older than ten desperately trying to lift daggers and swords made for someone so much older.
Gamling did not reply this time.
Back with Harry things were different. The green-eyed pirate had found Legolas and Gimli, and decided to bother those two for a while. Besides, he thought sulkily, Haldir and Jacqueline had disappeared under the pretence of checking up on the troops. 'I think they might be avoiding me for some strange reason.'
"You could've picked a better spot," the dwarf grumbled as he desperately tried to see above the wall.
"This was the only free spot along the wall," Legolas replied, trying to keep his smile from breaking through. "Otherwise we would have ended up in the third line, or even at the ground, and that would have been worse."
"Cheer up, Gimli," Harry said. "If ye wish to, I can levitate ye or summat."
Gimli shook his head decisively. "No, thank you! I like having my feet on the ground, pirate, even if it hiders me from observing what the rest of you can."
Harry chuckled. "Are ye sure?"
"Stop teasing him." Aragorn said as he suddenly appeared beside them.
The pirate looked innocent. "I've no idea what yer talkin' about."
"I'm sure you don't," Gimli said, but all of it was said in jest. Then he turned to Aragorn. "Well, whatever luck you live by, lad, lets hope it lasts the night."
"Your friends are with you, Aragorn," Legolas said, his eyes never leaving the approaching Uruk-Hai army.
"Lets 'ope they last the night," Harry said. "By the way, 'ave ye seen either Haldir or Jack?"
Aragorn shook his head. "No, why?"
"Just wanted to tease 'em some more afore the battle, but I suppose it can wait." Harry pouted for a minute, fidgeting. "Actually, forget it, I'll go find 'em meself."
The three looked at him, and so did some of the elves standing around.
Harry sent them all a smirk. "I jus' can't resist!"
The battle broke over them like a tsunami. First it was silent, then it was suddenly a hail of arrows from both sides – though more from their side than the Uruk-Hai's.
"Did they hit anything?!" Gimli shouted.
"Reducto! There are so many of 'em they don't even need te aim." Harry replied, and yawned. He had already thrown all but one of this daggers, and that last one he was keeping just in case. He was occasionally throwing a spell or two, but wanted to keep most of his strength for the physical battle that would happen. No matter what they did the Uruk-Hai kept on coming, and they could already see the ladders that the creatures down below were preparing. There were too many of the enemy for them to feel safe.
All around them the wizards and the elves didn't let up on their respective attacks, and the Rohirrim archers joined them easily, but everyone could see that it was not working. Step by step the Uruk-Hai were getting closer and closer. Down in the caves beneath Helm's Deep, the women and the children huddled together, and desperately tried to ignore the almost thundering footsteps of the enormous Uruk-Hai army. Here and there someone tried to sing or to tell a story to keep themselves from thinking about the inevitable losses of husbands, brothers and sons, but they died away quickly and quietly. Eowyn herself stood by the entrance to the caves – along with some other brave souls that could wield a blade to some extent – and hoped and prayed that everything would end well.
A heavy rain had started falling topside, and Harry couldn't help but send an annoyed look towards the skies. The Valar could have at least showed their support by keeping the storm off, couldn't they? Alright, to a pirate it didn't matter much whether it rained or not. What with spending most of their days on the sea, they were well used to fighting in wet conditions, but the Rohirrim clearly didn't like it, and even some of the elves seemed uncomfortable. Clothes got heavy, the ground got slippery and the rain blinded them dangerously.
"What's happening out there?!" Gimli demanded, as the elves and wizards all around him continued to shoot their arrows and throw their spells.
"I can sum it up nicely for you, Gimli," Harry snorted, his pirate-lingo completely gone. "We shoot, we make a hit, one Uruk-Hai dies, and ten others promptly take its place. It's never-ending!"
"The Uruk's have gotten very close now," Legolas added between shots. "They are bringing out the ladders and grappling hooks now, so your axe shall soon see action. And they have started on the walkway to the gates."
Gimli nodded, and patted his axe fondly. "Despite the situation I am pleased. Up until now my axe has hardly had the chance to cut anything but firewood since we left Moria."
"Aren't you forgetting that little attack a day or so ago?" Harry asked with a raised eyebrow. For a moment he wondered just how odd the sight of him and Gimli standing there and calmly discussing things, must be to other people. Then he decided that he didn't care and focused back on the dwarf.
"Off course not, that is why I said 'hardly had'." The dwarf smirked up at the green-eyed man. "I have learned to guard myself and my words in your esteemed company, my dear pirate. Too many a time have I fallen into one of your elaborate yet simple word-traps."
Harry smiled, and it suddenly occurred to him that he didn't want to lose these two friends he had made in this strange, new world. Therefore he made a suggestion that would insure that the two would fight their absolute best to survive the night. "How about a small wager, ey?"
"What's this, now?" Gimli was at once interested. "A wager you say?"
Even Legolas stopped shooting long enough to turn around, and regard the pirate with a curious look. "What kind of wager?"
"Shortly said: who can kill most Uruk-Hai this night? Fight any way you like, no holds barred. The winner can name a prize at the end, as long as it isn't completely unreasonable. What say you?" the pirate-captain sent the two one of his most challenging and devilish smirks, practically goading the two into accepting.
He needn't have worried, since both Legolas and Gimli agreed at once, and the dwarf couldn't help having the last word. "Don't worry, don't worry! Even when I am done plenty shall be left for the two of you."
Harry and Legolas shared an amused look over the short one's head, then turned their focus back to the battle. The attackers had really gotten into things, and the ladders and grappling hooks were being made use of energetically. Harry took great joy in severing the rope of the grappling hooks, either with spells or with his sword, and the elven archers did the same with the ladders. Still, despite all this, the Uruk-Hai were soon streaming over the Deeping Wall like a flood, and close combat was no longer avoidable. The elves put away their bows, and drew their swords, showing to all the world that they were excellent swordsmen as well as archers.
'Well, when you have eternity I suppose you can take your time to really master everything that interests you.' Harry mused right before another Uruk-Hai attacked him. "Sectumsempra! Petrificus Totalus! Stupefy!" As he had said to Legolas and Gimli this was a fight with no holds barred. There were no rules to be followed, and the trickster and pirate in him took great joy in cheating. He used his sword as well as any elf, and he made frequent use of his magical skills as well. A small space seemed to clear around him, and the monstrous Uruk-Hai tried to avoid him if at all possible. This meant that Harry had to run around and attack them wherever he found them, and this made him the hunter and not the hunted.
For some strange reason this seemed to give boost to the elves, men and wizards around him, and it was easy to see that the part of the Deeping Wall where Harry was, was one of those that were the most successful defenders.
An Uruk came over the wall, just as Gimli took a swing at him and killed him. Another Uruk followed and killed the elves that were unfortunate enough to be in his reach. The dwarf noticed this, slid under it, and hitting it in the stomach with his axe. Once he got to his feet again, he looked around and – spotting Legolas – he called out to the elf. "Legolas! Two already!"
The elven prince didn't look impressed. "Really?! I'm on 17! Though I now have to use my daggers and search for used arrows since my own are gone."
Gimli twitched, but before he could answer Harry – who stood behind the dwarf – added his two cents into the conversation. "Not bad for a dwarf and an elf. Personally I am on the nice sum of 28! Make that 29!" he added as he killed an Uruk that was about to get over the Deeping Wall.
This time both Legolas and Gimli twitched, though it was the dwarf – as usual – that put their mutual thoughts into words. "I'll have no foxy pirate outscoring me!"
Further down the wall Aragorn dodged a blow from an Uruk-Hai, and killed the creature with the next swing of his sword. An Uruk jumped on the Ranger, sending Aragorn to the ground. The Uruk tried to hit him, but Aragorn parried the blow and cut off its leg, sending the Uruk-Hai to the ground. Aragorn quickly finished the monster off, then took a short breather before he kicked a ladder full of Uruk-Hai away from the wall. He took a short overview of the situation, noticing that the enemy was almost overwhelming those that were defending the gates of the Keep. The men of Rohan were tired, and so were the elves and the wizards. But the Uruk-Hai and the orcs were relentless in their attacks, and kept on coming and coming and coming and… there was simply no end to them.
A cluster of orcs on the other side of the Deep caught his attention, and he quickly realised that the creatures were moving towards the Deeping Stream while carrying something. Harry's earlier warning about the Stream surfaced in the Ranger's mind, and he quickly pointed it out to the closest elves and wizards. "Togo hon dad! Bring them down! Shoot them!"
Arrows and spells and daggers flew at the cluster of Uruk-Hai, and the group was thinned enough so that those on the wall could see what it was they were carrying. Harry – who had made his way closer to investigate – paled upon realising exactly what it was that the fiends were carrying. It was a primitive bomb, and even from this far away he could almost see and feel the vile magic that surrounded the clump of iron.
"Damnation!" the green-eyed pirate practically roared, made short process of his current foe, and let go of absolutely all restraints. The aura that he had kept confined within himself these past months, suddenly flared out like a beacon, and he looked like a shooting star as he ran along the wall. Uruk-Hai and orcs threw themselves out of his way, seemingly terrified of the light that was so bright and strong that they could hardly see the man at the centre of it. But the elves and the men seemed to take great hope from this, and the other wizards soon followed Harry's example and released their own suppressed auras, lighting up the battlefield like a Christmas tree.
The hesitation and fright of the enemy, gave Harry just enough time to get to the Deeping Stream, and – almost knee-deep in dirty water – the pirate squared off with the Uruk-Hai that were gathered at the other side of the bars.
"Reducto! Stupefy! Impedimenta!" He shot spell after spell, curse after curse, at the creatures, but they kept on coming and in the end managed to place the bomb in place. A great, large, ugly Uruk came running towards the bomb on a suicide mission, holding a torch with a magically-fed fire aloft. He had clearly been shielded by some form of magic, for no matter what was shot at him it simply seemed to glance off on him.
'What do I do?!' Harry thought, almost panicking, as the Uruk came closer and closer. 'I can let the Deeping Wall be breached! If I could only apparate, then I'd…That's it! THAT'S BLOODY IT!!!!! A PORTKEY!!!!' he hurriedly looked around for a suitable object, found a stone that was big enough, transformed it into a portkey, and shoved it through the bars just as the Uruk jumped into the arched opening.
The portkey connected with the bomb a split second before the Uruk-Hai did, and both the bomb, the Uruk-Hai and the magical torch were whisked far away to some unidentifiable point over the sea, and were never seen or heard from again.
Harry couldn't help but sag against the wall, and trying to pull himself back together. Only now did he realise that he had been bloody lucky with the timing. If he had been a second later then – at best – he would've gotten his arm blown off, or, at worst, the entire wall would've been blown up, and Harry and everyone on this section of the wall with it.
"I'm getting too old for this," the pirate muttered to himself, then forced himself back into the fray.
Jacqueline breathed a sigh or relief when she noticed the glowing form of her godfather appear again, and was consequently nearly killed by an Uruk-Hai. It was only luck that Haldir saved her. "A battle is not the time to daydream, even for a pirate." The elf said, though there was really no serious bite to his words.
"Thanks." Jacqueline replied, then drove her sword through the skull of an Uruk that would've killed Haldir. "And neither should elven Marchwardens, I venture."
"Then we are even, My Lady." Haldir sent her a quick smirk, before the two of them turned to stand back-to-back and fought the incoming hordes of Uruk-Hai and orcs in this manner.
Théoden, who had been taking a breather, had gazed across the battlefield, and had realised that no matter how much they fought that it was for naught. The enemy kept on coming, and countless lives were needlessly ended. "Pull everybody back. Pull them back!" he ordered Gamaling, then walked off towards the inner walls of the Keep.
"Fall back!" Gamaling roared. "Fall back!"
The order was echoed from one side of the Keep to the other, and everyone obeyed. And not a moment too soon. The Uruk-Hai broke through the gates and finally overwhelmed those on the walls, and everyone could see that there was no hope in trying to keep the enemy out. Since the Uruk-Hai and the orcs seemed to detest the glow that came from the wizards, said wizards brought up the rear of the retreat, and many a wounded soldier that would otherwise have been left for dead, was saved and dragged into the Keep.
"Hurry! Inside. Get them inside!" Aragorn's voice could be heard through the din.
"Into the Keep!"
Elven and human voices mixed as the order was repeated over and over, and finally every last one of those that could be saved was through and the doors shut with a bang. The heavy, wooden doors were quickly reinforced with tables and benches and anything else that could be found, and a guard of men were set there, while the others got a bit of rest and scraped something to eat. It would take the Uruk-Hai a while to comb through the courtyards of the Keep in search for survivors and loot, and this gave the group inside some time to rest.
Everyone found places to sit down and rest, and someone passed around a bit of food and drink. The wizards got control over their auras again, and stopped shining like stars, but it didn't stop the awed looks from both men and elves.
Harry stood closer to the guarded entrance – ready to help if needed – and stretched languidly. "I hate these kinds of battles." The green-eyed man muttered. "They drag on forever. A sea-battle, now, that's something quite different! Short, sweet and to the point – if one is a good captain, that is." He yawned.
It was at this point that Legolas and Gimli found him, and settled down with him. The elf handed them all a piece of lembas, and although some – like Gimli – were dead tired of eating the elvish bread day out and day in, they were glad to have something to fill their stomachs.
"So, what's the count?" Harry asked in an attempt to keep the mood light – and to keep the other two from quizzing him as to why he glowed like a star not five minutes ago.
"Four dozen." Legolas replied with a small sigh.
"I'm on 46," Gimli declared, proud of it yet also miffed that he was still two behind the elf. "And you, Calenglîn? How many more did you add to your collection?"
Harry blinked at the use of the nickname Aragorn had gifted him with right before they had entered Bree, and encountered the hobbits for the first time. "58 or thereabouts. I lost count when the Uruks tried to blow up the wall."
Gimli grumbled. "How can we trust your statement? You're a pirate!" he said, though there was no malice in his voice, just friendly teasing.
"If that has been your worry all along, then why did you enter into this competition in the first place?" Legolas baited the dwarf, and said dwarf would have knowingly taken the bait if a loud argument between Aragorn and Théoden hadn't cut him off.
"Those two seem to get into arguments rather frequently, don't they?" Harry observed and the other two nodded.
"If Harry hadn't pointed it out in the first place, then I would never even have thought about keeping an eye at the Deeping Stream!" Aragorn was saying. "It was only luck that kept it from becoming a true massacre! Luck, and Harry's quick actions that saved us!"
Théoden shook his head sadly. "And yet look at us. All of us are trapped here like rats."
"There's still hope!" the Ranger insisted. "The dawn is nigh on hand! See! Through that window you can already see the sky lighting in the horizon. And Gandalf said that he would return at dawn."
Haldir joined the conversation. "The powers of evil are at their weakest during the day. There is still hope!"
"The fortress is taken. It is over." The King of the Rohirrim sounded almost completely broken, and those who heard his statement seemed to lose all the courage they had left. Jacqueline looked somewhat shocked at this statement, said as though it was a fact and as though the king had completely accepted his fate. Those that were guarding the door and keeping the orcs and Uruks from getting through, let up on their defence, and even those of the elves that didn't know that language seemed to understand what had happened.
"You are pissing me off!" Harry practically roared and – to everyone's shock and surprise – punched Théoden with all his might, sending the king to the ground. "Just listen to yourself! You are acting more like Wormtongue and less like the King of Men that I know you are! You said this fortress would never fall while your men defend it. They still defend it! They have died defending it! And here you are ready to give up! You have been going through these two emotions – victory or defeat – faster and more extremely than even a pregnant woman! Pick one emotion and stick with it, dammit, and don't drag others down with you! I, for one, simply refuse to die here!"
Everyone was silent, no one moved.
Harry rounded on Gamling, and the elder man couldn't keep from retreating a few steps upon meeting those furious, green eyes.
"Is there no other way for the women and children to get out of the caves?" Harry demanded.
Gamling didn't answer.
"Is there no other way?" Aragorn repeated, and also breaking the silence of the others in the hall. People started whispering about Harry's tirade, and it was quickly translated into elvish so that everyone could understand.
Finally Gamling managed to pull himself together. "There is one passage. It leads into the mountains. But they will not get far, the Uruk-Hai are too many."
"Tell the women and children to make for the mountain pass. And barricade the entrance!" Haldir ordered. The elf had gotten a hold of himself again, and had now entered into the fray, ready to assist in any way possible. He refused to die in this place as well.
But Théoden, it seemed, still needed a bit of convincing. "So much death. What can Men do against such reckless hate?"
At this point Aragorn came up with his insane plan of riding out, headlong and straight into the midst of the enemy. And surprise of surprises, new hope and courage rose up within the King of Rohan, and he agreed to the suggestion almost at once.
Harry blinked, and couldn't help commenting to Legolas, Haldir and Jacqueline. "If I'd known that all it took to get him back on his feet was the suggestion of a suicide-mission, then I wouldn't have bothered punching him… actually, I would still punch him, but the point still stands."
"Yes. The horn of Helm Hammerhand shall sound in the Deep one last time." Théoden declared as he put on his helm again, and ordered all the horses that they had to be brought into the hall.
"Leave that to me!" Gimli said eagerly. "Dwarves are not meant for horses, but we have a pair of very strong lungs!" with that said, he ran off through the corridors of the Keep, and towards the top of the tower where the horn was to be found.
Elves and men quickly mounted the horses that were brought in, and the wizards produced broomsticks – which caused something of a commotion. Soon enough everyone was ready to ride out with the banners of the Rohirrim, the elves and the wizards at the front.
"Fell deeds, awake." Théoden spoke, his voice intense. "Now for wrath, now for ruin and a red dawn."
Harry felt a grim smirk settle on his face. He was the only wizard not on a broomstick, but the stallion he was riding would do just as well. 'Hopefully we'll live to see another day.' The pirating wizard mused.
Those that stood by the doors to the hall were ready to pull them open and let the group ride out, and also fight those orcs and Uruk-Hai that would get inside.
"Forth Eorlingas!" Théoden roared.
From the window they could see the sun rising, and from atop the tower they heard Gimli blow in the horn of Helm Hammerhand.
The doors were flung open.
They rode out.
I am really, really, really sorry about the long time it took me to update! I humbly ask for your forgiveness!
Once again I've used things from both the movie and the book, and also rearranged on who says what. I hope you won't kill me for this.
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And a special thanks to MarySue-Will-Die. That was the best and the worst review I have ever read! It made my day and made me write more on this story! I salute you!