A/N: Okay, here's the dealio...
I started writing this...well years ago, and since then I've gone through so many changes as a person and as a writer I don't think I can continue this fic where I left off. I wince when I read certain aspects of it XD So I've decided to stop here and give you guys what I had written for the next chapter and maybe...MAYBE I'll re-write this fic. Because I DO like my plot, it's just that it wouldn't make sense to continue on when I've grown as a writer, and see what I want to change.
I know I'm going to be disappointing quite a few of you who have badgered me for updates, and I'm really sorry. I will continue to write, but I aint posting a thing until I've gotten the whole story down. Makes for less disappointment in the future. I learned that lesson at least!
Thanks to so many of you who have helped me on my writing journey, your support means a lot! Especially you SharnasorianEmpire! (Don't kill me, please?)
That said, here's what I had started to write
I narn heria!
Ron grinned as he shook his smarting hand. Across from him Harry smirked while he twirled Ron's wand in his fingers. Their duel had been a much-needed magical output. Off to the side cheers rose from Pippin and Merry who had tagged along to watch.
"Re-match?" Harry asked, flipping the wand in Ron's direction. He caught it and shook his head, flinging drops of sweat from his shaggy hair. "No, I don't think we have time." Harry snorted, "You just don't want me to kick your butt again." They both laughed and Ron made a half-hearted shove in retaliation, sending Harry sprawling in the grass.
He had recently thrown himself in to sparring with the other members of the Fellowship, trying to distract himself from this situation as well as Hermione. She'd been a little nicer recently, but still distant. He sometimes wondered whether he would ever get another chance with her. Acceptance of her interest in Legolas wasn't easy, but he consoled himself with the fact that it was highly unlikely.
Soon though, he'd be out of Lothlorien and away from pointy-eared annoyances. They were going to leave in just two days, having spent more time in the golden wood than he would have thought possible. The place was timeless and lured you in until the passage of time was barely noticeable. But pass it had and it was more than time for them to be headed out.
The group walked back together. The hobbits were going through a sort of play-by-play of the two wizard's duel and begging them to show more magic in the future. They warily agreed, knowing how much it unsettled the elves and their other companions.
Off in another area of Lothlorien, Legolas was bidding some of his friends farewell before deciding to walk and drink in the serene beauty of his surroundings. They were leaving soon and he knew it might be a long time before he returned here.
Legolas was enjoying his time in Lothorien. The shadow of Gandalf's passing was hard to overcome, but here he was surrounded by his kin and he was able to contact friends he hadn't seen for many years. He'd never before walked in the shade of the golden wood, but he was glad he had come. His own home in Mirkwood was far different than here. It held its own beauty, darker in nature than here where the light filtered softly through the leaves and illuminated all it touched.
The pretty sound of laughter reached his sharp ears and he smiled as he recognized the voice. Hermione. He had grown quite fond of the young woman on their journey. She was refreshing, and amusing. Her quick wit was enough to raise his spirits under any circumstances.
His steps quickened unconsciously.
Hermione bit in to a piece of fruit as her eyes scanned the pages in front of her. It was a book lent to her by the Lady Galadriel herself. The witch still didn't trust the lay, but she was grateful for the book to fill her time with reading. She had chosen a small glade not too far from the main city with sweet smelling grass and dancing motes of light. There was a spot at the base of one of the trees she found very comfortable and that was where she curled up to read in peace and quiet.
It was nice here, and Hermione welcomed the change of pace, even though she knew it could not last forever. They had only been in Lothlorien a week or so though and she was only just starting to feel the grief of Gandalf's death lessen.
A shadow fell over her book and startled she looked up to see an unfamiliar elf. He had long blonde hair of a richer shade of gold and blue eyes, his jaw was slightly more square than many of his kin and he was tall.
"Good afternoon lady." he greeted her with a smile and a bow. Hermione returned his greeting with one of her own and a nod. To her surprise, he knelt beside her and settled himself comfortably.
"If I may impose, I find quiet times are sometimes better shared with another. My name is Aranel." he said, while pulling out a bit of wood and an elegant knife. His eyes weren't on her but she knew he wasn't nearly as non-chalant as he appeared to be. Elves never did anything without a reason. He was a bit presumptuous, but she couldn't deny that she found his presence soothing. Another Elvish thing, she supposed.
"Hermione." she said, pulling her book back up to read. Aranel smiled and began to carve. He was quiet and didn't say anything more so she decided to go back to her book.
Some time later she lowered the book and glanced at her companion. He was quietly and patiently working on the carving. Shaving very delicately and with such intent that she was somewhat in awe. She had no idea what he was doing, but it was obvious he held skill and possessed great patience.
She returned to her book.
The next day she decided to read again, though she picked another place this time. To her surprise Aranel showed up not twenty minutes after she had sat down and once again joined her with his carving.
It became a small game of sorts, she would always pick another place to go for some quiet time and inevitably he would show up and join her. The first couple of times it happened, Hermione and Aranel didn't speak beyond exchanging a greeting. But soon they began to make small talk and eventually Hermione abandoned her book altogether to converse with him.
Aranel was a trained warrior and currently he was visiting Lothlorien and his mother's kin though his original home was in Mirkwood. She soon discovered he had a quick wit and a slightly mischievous nature. Once his carving began to take some sort of more defined shape, Hermione would try to guess what it was. She never saw the finished products though. As soon as the figure started to gain definition, Aranel would tuck it away and produce another bit of wood to work on. He denied her requests to see them, only saying that he would eventually.
One day they were taking turns relating silly stories when Legolas stumbled across them.
Immediately, both elves tensed and Hermione noticed the dark looks they shot one another. Aranel quickly got up and bid her a good day before giving a curt nod to Legolas and leaving.
Legolas frowned at his back but then smiled back at Hermione and invited her to join him for lunch.
It was all very odd Hermione thought, and soon she noticed that whenever both were in a gathering, inevitably one would make some excuse and leave. They never spoke to one another and would always change the subject when the other was mentioned.
She could only imagine it was something that had happened to them both in Mirkwood that had pushed them to such dislike. Neither ad the type of nature to be nasty to another person and both were incredibly polite and courteous to her. She hardly knew what to think.
When the day had come to leave, feelings in the fellowship were mixed. Some like Boromir and Ron were happy to leave. Others like Legolas and the hobbits were sad. Hermione had mixed feelings, she was happy to be on the road again, though she was sad about leaving her new friend.
Sam was running around in a tizzy muttering various items under his breath and frantically stuffing provisions and objects in to his pack, lamenting the fact that he had no rope and that he knew they would be wanting it.
Merry, Ron, and Pippin had eaten themselves nearly in to a coma the night before. Food was going to have to be rationed again, something none of them was looking forward too.
Frodo looked like he was barely there, his thoughts a million miles away. He only seemed a little more alive when Sam fawned over him, then he would smile gratefully at his companion and go along with whatever Sam wanted.
Aragorn was busy talking with various people over the best roads to take, Harry with him listening intently.
Hermione wandered off to the side of their group. Aranel was nowhere to be seen, which made her sad. She had hoped he might come to see her off at the very least. Legolas' presence was probably putting him off.
She sighed and