Disclaimer: I do not own LOTR. Honestly, what would I be doing here if I did?

Burns

By Dernhelm Wraithslayer

A wave of heat washes over me and I am hit by some strong force.So is the rest of the Alliance, as far as I can see through eyes squinting against the heat. Yet soon it is all gone, the strong winds, the heat…

…the shadow looming over me…

A glitter shine of gold attracts my attention as I lie on the ground, unable to move, unable to understand what it is I have just done. I turn to see what it could be. In wonder I realize tha! t it is a golden ring, indeed it is the One Ring, the source of Sauron's unimaginable power, so my father had said.

…my father…

Without thinking I reach for the Ring. As I grasp it I feel the heat, the power it holds within. It burns me, burns my hand even through the thick leather of my gloves. Such great pain it causes me, this small thing. A pain, I fear, I shall never be rid of.

I gaze at it, pure gold amid its creator's ashen remains. It calls to me; it speaks in a sweet whisper, so soothing to my ears after the sounds of battle! It speaks of my kingdom and the glory I could achieve, Numenor renewed in beauty and power, even greater than before the coming of Sauron. It speaks of my father, of my fallen brother, of our life before we escaped here to Middle-earth, of all those things my heart had missed and dreamed of. It is a thing of great beauty, this Ring. Such beauty should not be marred in any way. I will take it, to protect it, to keep it safe. No harm will come to it while I yet live. And when my death comes those of my bloodline will be forever bound to its fate; the Ring, and the power it can grant men, will be an heirloom of my house, a house of the most glorious kings that ever ruled Middle-Earth.

My thoughts are interrupted by Elrond, he beckons me to follow him. His voice, which I had always thought beautiful and musical as the voices of the Eldar are, sounds harsh and hateful a! fter the sweet whisperings of the Ring. I do not know what he wants with me now, but I decide to follow him nevertheless, still clutching the Ring tightly.

Even now it burns me, but I will never let go of it. A strange desire has filled my heart, a strong bond with this little thing. It is precious to me.

Elrond leads me to Mount Doom, to the very fires of Sammath Naur. As we stand he speaks, but I cannot hear him for the voice of the Ring is becoming ever louder in my mind. I wonder how the Dark Lord could ever create a thing of such beauty.

Yet then among Elrond's cries I manage to make one out. He wants me to destroy the Ring, throw it away, throw it all away, all the promises of glory and power, all the sweet whisperings in my mind. Never, I swear to myself as I clutch the Ring harder still. He will never take it from me. If he dares to try I am ready to fight him, here above the flames. Have I not every right to keep the Ring? Was not I the one who destroyed Sauron? Wasn't I the only one who dared to face him after my father fell? I will, if nothing else, take it as wergild, the sweet voice as payment for the voice of the father I will never hear again.

It belongs to me and no other.

The Peredhel is still telling me to destroy it. He does not understand and he never will. How can the Ring be evil? Sauron was evil; he used the Ring for his wicked deeds. This sweet voice was his unwilling slave. And now it has come to me, and I will risk no hurt toit.

I look at Elrond as I speak my final decision.

'The Ring is mine.'

And I turn away, heeding not his cries, the Ring, so precious to me, held tightly.

It still burns me.