A/N: Hey everyone. This is a plot bunny of mine, as I have always desired to do a HP/LOTR crossover, and this is it. I hope you all understand it well enough. / If anyone has any questions, they shall all be answered within reviews. This story shall be updated at some point, but I have a collection of one-shots or stories which I desire to put on here, which are all plot bunnies which are interfering with my other stories. I thought that I should get round to typing them up, and here is the first one.
Summary: The World was destroyed. All that remained of it is a scattered group of wizarding refugees, whose leader is one Harry Potter. They sought refuge in the lands of Middle-Earth, and for thousands of years, they grew in number, becoming a race far greater than anything else. But darkness is upon them. Darkness that Sauron pales in comparison.
Rings and True Immortality
Chapter I: Prologue
By The Morrigu
"Mother, mother!" cried the child, as he jumped into his bed, wrapping the blankets around his form. The fire roared in the heath of the room, heating the meagre room, preventing the cold winter from getting through the walls. A woman entered, she was rather plain looking, with lines around her eyes, as well as dirt in her hair. Her skin held a worn look about it, of a woman more used to doing practical things rather than anything else. She offered her son a slight smile, and sat on the edge of his bed, giving him a fond look.
"So what story does Master wish for tonight?" questioned the mother.
"The Riders!" said the boy energetically, and the woman chuckled at him.
"The Riders you say? Surely you do not mean the Riders of our own Rohan?"
The boy looked perplexed for a moment, before his face turned into one of exasperation.
"No!" he said slowly. "The Riders from the North."
The mother rolled her eyes, before tucking the child into bed, and sitting down at his side.
"The riders have existed for as long as anyone can recall, be they man, elf or dwarf. It is said that they come down from the North, a great legion of them, armed with weapons of the sharpest metals, and clothed in furs the ward the cold away. Their steeds are said to match our very own, but in the twilight hours, it is as though the very forces of nature are at their beck and call, as they ride through all forces our world can throw at them."
She took a breath, pausing to debate on what to say next.
"It is said that the riders are in search of something, but what no one knows. No one knows much about these individuals, except that every three months, a legion of them ride down from the North. They even get as far down as Minas Tirith, before turning back. Some like to believe that there is but a legion of them, riders who go from one place to the next, never stopping for long. Others, like myself, believe that beyond the cold wastes, exists a kingdom whose greatness far surpasses that of any kingdom on Middle-Earth."
"Why mother?" murmured the boy.
"Why you ask? Because like the wizards we hear being murmured about, these riders can use magic. Magic in such ways that it is rumoured the wizards cannot dare to compare to. Their magic would allow them the ability to have such a kingdom, of that I am certain."
Miles away, not even aware that they were being spoken of; a legion rode across the ice wastes of Forodwaith. The horses galloped unimpeded even by the harsh environment, as they were laden down with weapons and their riders, who were so bundled up in heavy furs, not even their eyes could be seen. The sun had set, and the darkness had settled around them. By the light of the moon, the ice lit their path with a silver glow, and it was with this that the riders travelled. For hours they rode, never slowing down. The steeds never faltered in their steps, as fatigue never once began to faze them. Eventually, the icy wastes began to filter out, and the land became populated with trees and the likes. They continued to ride on their steeds, until coming to a stop at the top of a hill.
"We rest here." Called the leader, and the riders dismounted, resting on the ground after days of endless riding. They were in friendly territory now, so rest was allowed.
"Captain." Called one of the riders, walking up to them man. "I spotted some riders coming from the south. We moved past them, but I could sense them. They are heading for Dux Ducis."
The captain raised an eyebrow, having pulled his furs from his head, revealing long brown hair, with bright blue eyes. His skin was lightly tanned and unblemished save for a single scar which ran through his eyebrow.
"That is strange. Few come up here, and those that do, do not know the country so well." Murmured the Captain.
"It seems as though they began their journey from Mirkwood. I spotted them not long after we passed the Misty Mountains. The Elves know of these lands, and would not direct any ill will to our elders."
"No, I imagine not." Replied the Captain. "Keep your sharp eyes on them my friend. We are due at Bellum to give our report tomorrow eve."
The two parted ways, the company of elves on their minds. Not very many leagues away, the company of the elves, which were but five riders, were riding throughout the night. They had passed the border, the Border between Forodwaith and Aurum, which was the land that the icy wastes could not overcome. In the distance, the land gave way to greenery, to the east the land became mountainous, the tops of it covered in snow. To the very west, was the coast line, which curved around. Only eyes as sharp of the elves, could spot the towns which existed on the coast, or within the mountain range itself. But even those gifted which such eyesight could not see the wonder that was the land of Aurum, until they continued further, coming across the capital city itself. The city of Dux Ducis, which lay to the North of their current position.
The elves continued their journey. Going through forests as old as Fangorn itself, and travelling across plains which were plentiful of wildlife. Various villages passed them by, and at first light, they could see the children rushing around the villages, helping their parents in their morning tasks out in the fields. At their approach, they all stopped, and watched them pass in silence. It was within one of these villages that the group stopped to rest. The villagers appeared to be wary of them, which was natural considering that riders from the south were extremely uncommon.
"What business brings you here, Master Elf?" asked a man, who appeared to be a blacksmith, his eyes alight with curiosity.
"Our Lord has business with the Lord of these Lands." Stated one of the Elves, his brown hair cascading down his back.
"The Lord Elrond?" asked the blacksmith.
The elf nodded his head, and the blacksmith smiled.
"That is good news then. You have happened upon our lands at a rather opportune moment – as the High Lord has awoken."
"Awoken?" murmured the elf in confusion. "We do not understand."
The blacksmith offered him an understanding smile, before speaking.
"You will most likely understand when you reach Dux Ducis."
The elf nodded his head in return, but still remained extremely confused.
I guess I should first introduce myself, as I am the one writing all of this down. My name is Harry James Potter, and this is my account of what happened, so many years ago. At the age of seventeen, I had believed that I had experienced everything that could possibly be thrown at me. I had defeated my foe, survived a war, and so many attempts at my life. I had even died, only to survive in the end. Within our own world, everything began to come together, to work out fine. We didn't focus any of our thoughts towards the others of our kind, the muggles of the world. As the years passed, the unrest within their world became more and more apparent, until eventually the third war between their nations broke out. In one fell swoop, the lands that the muggles controlled were destroyed.
Myself and my comrades had enough sense to lock ourselves in the basement of the Ministry of Magic – where the war didn't touch us. My comrades consisted of what had once been the DA, as well as their families and any other who cared for their survival, and were not foolish enough to believe in their impunity. So, while wars raged beyond the walls, we refugees existed hidden away in the Ministry of Magic, with nothing between us and the outside world except a set of wards at the entrance to the Department of Mysteries.
That is where we hid, for almost a month, we lived within such a department, as it was the only place which could provide protection against what was going on in the outside world. As everyone destroyed one another, we remained strong. United.
But, alas, all good things come to an end. The destruction began to break through the barriers, and we were left with little choice of our actions. There is but one item within the Department of Mysteries which the Unspeakable's were afraid to experiment with too much. The Veil. The origins of such a thing are unknown, as is the true meaning of its existence. Where is leads, no one knew. All that could be said was that anyone who went through it didn't return. Thus, the theory that the veil lead to the world of the dead, and anyone who entered it died automatically. This theory when unquestioned, as there was nothing to question it with.
However, the day we were trapped in the Death Room, with no other way out, besides the Veil, we unknowingly decided that we would be the ones to test it. After all, what was worse? What kind of people would we be if we would rather die than face the unknown that existed beyond the veil? Thus we entered the veil – but we didn't account for something else. Me. The Boy-Who-Lived, the Man-Who-Defeated-Voldemort. The Master of Death.
I had always been strange. Unique, as my comrades would call me rather than using harsher words, whether they were meant to be insulting or not. I had such an odd experience at life, that it made the powers that were my birth right to act differently than other individuals powers. The Veil did lead to the world of the dead, the Unspeakable's had gotten that right.
However, I couldn't die. I had often pondered whether or not I could die, but I never dared to test it. The abilities gifted to me as the master of death, would most likely have made it unable to occur, until I was ready to. Add to that the horcrux problem, and the prophecy, and the outcome is vague at best.
But my abilities, my immortality, my immunity to death, and the unique behaviour of my magic is what saved us in the end. Stepping into the Land of the Dead, I immediately felt that I didn't belong here. I felt a similar sensation that one feels when Apparating, as though my body was about to be torn into a variety of different places. I realised that I was the only one with this feeling, the others were fine.
I felt myself fading away, and initially I thought that it was me who was dying, not the other way around. My magic responded to my distress, and rather than making me stay there, which was naturally impossible, as I was immortal, it did the opposite. It took my comrades, my comrades who had died the moment they stepped into the land of the dead.
We vanished from such a land, and appeared somewhere else. All of us alive, breathing. In one piece. We were safe, and the cooling sea breeze was never as welcome as it was then. Never.
We had no idea where we had turned up, except that it had a beach with waters which were of the palest blue. The feeling of being free would never be unappreciated ever again, of that I doubt. It was only later, as we sat around campfires, we began to theorise what had happened.
We wouldn't know for weeks, what precisely had happened. We would only know when Neville fell down into a gorge, his back was broken. He was on his feet in a matter of minutes, all traces of injury gone. It was then that we realised something, we were immortal. Whatever had happened to us, we had made it a permanent survival.
"Harry, come on love, you must wake up!" murmured a soft, feminine voice into his ear.
Harry groaned to himself, rolling over and burying himself under the furs that made up his bed. He distantly registered a loud sigh, before he was roughly pulled from the bed. The nice warm bed.
"Harry, what would the people see if they could see their great Lord now?" murmured the woman, rolling her eyes at him, her brown eyes staring at him in annoyance. "Honestly!"
"Ginny." Said Harry, in an almost whine. "Can't you let a man sleep?"
"No, not on a day like this." Ginny sighed, running a hand through her lengthy red hair. Harry's childish expression suddenly turned serious, and he sat down beside her, placing a gentle hand on her thigh.
"You and the others haven't told me all that has happened over the past few hundred years, have you?" murmured Harry, frowning slightly.
"No." whispered Ginny, her eyes downcast. "We wanted you to be settled first. I mean, we made sure that at least seven of us would be awake at any given time, so that we could govern the lands."
Harry nodded his head mutely, causing her to continue.
"There has been whispering from the south. I fear that darkness has returned to Middle-Earth. It is said that the land of Mordor is cast in darkness again." Whispered Ginny, her eyes shut tight, as though in mortal pain.
"Is Luna fine?" asked Harry, remembering that their quirky friend, who had a sixth sense that had grown over the years. A sixth sense that was more like empathy, and she could sense the Dark Lord the last time he was present, and it made the woman so ill she had to remain in bed.
"She isn't in as bad state as before, but it will only be a matter of time." Murmured Ginny. "But there is something else. The ring, it has been missing all of this time. Luna said that it had been found, years ago. By a hobbit of all creatures!"
"Don't let 'Mione hear you saying that." Muttered Harry absently.
Ginny lay her head back, staring up at the ceiling.
"I just, I think there is more to it this time." Whispered Ginny. "I think that something big is going to happen."
Harry frowned in contemplation, before nodding his head mutely.
"You think that they will come out again?" said Harry quietly, his eyes downcast.
"Yes." Replied Ginny. "They have been waiting for far too long."
Harry nodded his head once more, and Ginny left the room, closing the great and ornately carved door to his rooms. Harry brought himself out of his bed, wearing but a simple shirt and loose pants. He grabbed a cup from the side, and walked over to the window which allowed him to view the sprawling and towering city below the centre tower. This was Dux Ducis, the capital city of the Land of Aurum. The city itself was made of towers, which were intermingled with one another. Harry knew that there was nothing else in the world which was like this building, nor was there any land which was like Aurum. They had combined their futuristic knowledge of architecture, magic and the general lay of the land to produce architectural masterpieces. Each and every single building was connected to the next by a variety of bridges which were connected between buildings of their own accord. Magical constructs. The buildings themselves were made from a graphite/diamond mixture, making them incredibly strong. Surrounding the city itself, was a tall wall, with no hole or door to enter the city by.
This wall was a mixture between naturally occurring stone, and the rare mythril which was found in the mountains to the North. The tower which Harry stood within now, was in the dead centre of the wondrous city, with its floating market stalls, laughter lining its footbridges as children ran to their friends house. The city was unique, and any whose eyes laid on it, would always stare in wonder and curiosity at such a city. To their eyes, it just simply couldn't work. With no area for farm land (not that new comers were privy to the magically constructed fields and artificial sunlight which existed below the city).
Harry's emerald green eyes, however, eventually stopped roaming the city, and came to rest on an incoming group of riders. Not of their own, as they always went to the fortress city of Bellum, where the army was stationed and trained. These were foreign, but not enemies from the way they rode with cautiousness of a newcomer, not that of an enemy. Harry set his hand on a gem which was by the window, and immediately put some magic into it. This cause it to glow a deep green colour.
"Allow the visitors to enter. I think this might work to our advantage." He said aloud.
"Yes my lord." Came the reply, before Harry shut the connection down.
A small sad smile remained on his face, as he looked out of the window once more. The things that had been in the muggle world, they had introduced to the new society they had been building. Albeit created magical versions.
No matter how much older other members of their party had been, they allowed Harry and his friends to make the decisions. They were the war heroes. They knew best. They eventually became the Council, the Council which governed Aurum, which was the land that they had landed in.
A land which was so saturated in magic, that the icy cold to the south didn't affect them at all. As Harry turned back, and began to slip a green shirt and a different pair of pants on, he continued to mull over the past. The very long past.
They had realised that they were immortal, so many years ago. Initially they had been shocked, then they had celebrated. It was only as they began to explore, and eventually they discovered a land which had but a few villages in it, villages whose general life was so low, and they could do so much to help.
Help they did. They turned a few villages into a city, then into more cities and then into a nation. They ruled fairly, as a Council, whose subjects, those new and those who had come with them, embraced this new utopia that was created. Until, people began to die. Until we began to realise what forever actually meant.
As our nation grew and prospered, learning new things, we began to notice a trend among them. Any whom were of our own blood, lived significantly longer than any other. A few hundred years longer, more like. But, it can be said that it takes a significant amount of will power to live so long, and eventually, some of our number began to decrease. There was one thing that could reverse the magic that I had inadvertently brought upon us when we went into the land of the dead. Death by suicide.
One by one, our number decreased. Some of us died, others disappeared into the shadows of society, moving in with the new settlers who had begun to appear further south. Those of us who persevered, began to isolate our nation from the warring nations to the south. We began to take it in turns, to go into an eternal sleep for a few hundred years. To block out the feelings of eternity.
It was during this, while we began to first sleep, that a group of soldiers from Bellum were to ride down to the southern lands, and bring word of what was going on there. So, every year since, the Riders took their journey south. It was on such a journey, that a group of Elves followed them. Thus, was the first contact with Elves, made by Lady Galadriel, some four thousand years prior. The Dwarves were next, while the humans never made contact. Concerning themselves only with the folly of men.
A wry smile appeared on Harry's face, as he walked out of his room, descending. The populace of Aurum didn't consider themselves human anymore. Not really. They all lived for a longer period of time, and many of their number were able to do magic, due to the magic saturated environment that they were in, and the blood which flowed through their veins. The blood of Harry's original comrades.
Harry slept during the period where they were asked to participate in the battle against Sauron, one that led to his downfall. Draco, Hermione and Ron had all come to the decision that it wouldn't do them any good to aid in such a war. One which would never reach them, they said.
But, that was before they had discovered what else had come with them from the lands of the Dead. A hundred years after the fall of Sauron, Luna had woken up screaming, in a fit or rage. The woman had always been more attuned to magic, especially the darker kinds, which made her appear insane at times. Something had become attached to them, like a parasite. It had come to this new world, and festers, without being held back, for thousands of years. It would soon be ready to strike, and when it did, they had to be ready.
This darkness, the combination of the misery of all of those from those lands, had taken forms of demons. Demons from the worst of nightmares. Demons who could travel in the shadows, and knew your next move, before you could even make it. There were forever biding there time, waiting.
The time had obviously come though, for this battle to start, as they were waiting for the first move to be made. Harry smiled sadly to himself, as he reached one of the reception rooms. Time for him to play the Lord of the lands.
A week later
Harry was wrapped in furs and the like, to ward off the cold to the south. He wore a pair of thick leather boots, which clicked against the floor as he walked. He held in his hands, a satchel which had within it anything he would need for the trip he was about to undertake. Weapons, medical supplies, food, water, comfortable sleeping conditions, even reading material. Ginny had been happy to help, as she would be staying behind. In fact, the only ones going were Hermione, Luna and himself.
He stood in the courtyard, while wrapping a pair of goggles around the top of his head. Luna and Hermione appeared next to him, similarly attired, to ward off the cold. Ron, Ginny, Neville, Draco and Fleur stood around, watching them leave. The others were stationed at other cities, or were required elsewhere.
"You all have the mirrors?" asked Harry, and the five brought out the small hand mirrors which were kept around their necks, which were used to speak to one another over long distances. "Good."
"You will call us if you need us, right?" asked Ginny, frowning at him.
"I will call you if you are needed." Replied Hermione, shooting Harry an annoyed look. Harry's pride wouldn't have let him ask for help until it was almost too late, age hadn't changed this view. The five shared an amused glance, while three stable helps brought three steeds for them to ride. The first steed was a threstral, while the latter two were Hippogriffs, a white and brown one and a black and white one. The threstral was given to Luna, while the Hippogriff's were given to Hermione and Harry respectively.
Nodding to the others, the three of them mounted their steeds in unison. Harry pulled his goggles over his eyes, knowing that both Luna and Hermione were doing the same.
"If you do not hear from us within two days, send out a scout." He called to them. Ron nodded his head, an arm extended to them in farewell. The three steeds then ran to the other end of the courtyard where there was no wall. When all three of them leaped from the walls, the city was sprawled out below them. The threstral and the two hippogriff's extended their wings to catch the wind, and then flapped them a few times to gain altitude. The wind rushed through Harry's ears, as the temperature began to drop the higher they went.
A grim smile appeared on his face, as he thought about what was to come. Soon, the world would be thrown into a darkness. A darkness which wasn't that of the current Dark Lord.
Frodo Baggins leant against the balcony that was apart of his room. He gazed out at the city of Rivendell, its beauty was that of simplicity and grace. As the sky moved into twilight, the sun's final light was cast at Rivendell, causingit to light up magnificiently. Already, elf maidens were lighting candles along the halls, and fireflies were flying across the various walkways, lighting the darkening sky around them.
Frodo switched his gaze to the entrance of Rivendell, where throughout the day riders had been arriving for the meeting the next day. He had spotted several Dwarves, Elves who weren't native to Rivendell, and quite a few men arriving throughout the day. Yet, when Frodo had seen the Lord Elrond and Gandalf conversing earlier on in the day, it looked as though they were still…expectant? For what, Frodo wasn't sure about.
From where he stood, he could see Elrond and Gandalf within the Elf Lord's study. The two of them kept on shooting glances to the sky, and it was really making Frodo curious. What were they waiting for? What were they so expectant for?
Suddenly, he felt a tangible tension on the air. A light frown on his face, Frodo looked around, trying to find the source. His eyes spotted Elf guards, who had their bows out, and were pointing towards something in the sky. Frodo looked up, spotting three winged-somethings which were flying in the direction of Rivendell. What they were, he couldn't tell at such a difference, although it appeared as though the Elves could see them a lot clearer.
Elrond and Gandalf had walked out onto the balcony, and were also looking up to the sky. Frodo stepped closer to the balcony's edge, straining his neck to see what was going on. He heard an order come from Elrond in elfish, and then the guards stood down in unison. Frodo could now make out what was flying towards Rivendell, and his eyes widened. He had never seen anything like this before, whatever it was, it was huge. Certainly large enough to bare the weight of a man with ease.
"Frodo!" Called Pippin and Merry as they ran up the steps towards him. "Come on, you have to see what we've found!"
Frodo offered them both a smile, and allowed himself to be dragged away. Content in the knowledge that his curiosity should be sated the next day.
In a courtyard within Rivendell, which was secreted away from the main part of the city, a group of nineteen met. There were three seats at the front, for Elrond and sons. Then in a circle around these seats were sixteen others. Frodo was led to his by Gandalf who then sat next to him, watching as people eventually made their way to the courtyard, and to their seats. The Elves were first to arrive, four of them, wearing green and brown clothing, which Frodo thought was from the Woodland Realm to the North. They sat on the other side of Gandalf, greeting the wizard warmly in their own language. Three men came next, baring a white tree on their uniform as they sat next to the elves. Gandalf quietly informed him that they were from Gondor.
Strider came in next, wearing what appeared to be an elf tunic. He sat himself in the seat furthest from the men. Three dwarves entered, sitting beside the men. They were stout, and about he same height, perhaps slightly taller, than Frodo himself. This left three more seats, and it was at this moment that Frodo realised that all that remained were the arrivals the night before.
The arrivals, which had triggered his curiosity. The final three arrived, causing a few raised eyebrows, but nothing more. The first was a man, who couldn't be thirty years of age. He had pale skin, black hair and strange, green eyes. He walked casually, and sat beside a dwarf, offering them a warm smile. What most likely caused the raised eyebrows were the presence of two women who walked in as well, and sat beside the man. A woman with long, blond hair and large blue eyes sat between the two, while a woman with brown hair and warm brown eyes that shone with intelligence sat beside Strider. At last, everyone was here.
Frodo's eyes flicked from person to person, as they waited for Elrond and his sons to arrive. To his side, he saw Gandalf nod his head in greeting to the three newcomers, and the man and the brunette nodded their heads at him. Frodo's eyes caught those of the blond haired woman's, who was watching him with interested. The large blue eyes seemed to bore into him, and he lowered his gaze, feeling uncomfortable. He looked at her, and saw that she still hadn't removed her gaze from him.
"Gandalf, who are they?" whispered Frodo, causing the wizard to look at him.
"They are from the lands to the North, past the frozen wasteland." Replied Gandalf, offering Frodo a kind smile.
Frodo frowned to himself, remembering the stories his Uncle had told him about the lands to the North, where nothing could live due to the icy environment and the bitter cold. It was said to be caused by the presence of an evil spirit, though Frodo thought that it was little more than a tale to scare little hobbits. The land beyond the icy wastes were never spoken of, besides it being mentioned that every three months a legion of men on horseback would ride down to trade, and to gain news of what was going on in the southern lands.
Elrond entered, along with a pair of twins, who settled themselves on either side of him. A silence permeated the air, as all watched the Elf Lord with interest. It suddenly hit Frodo, that none of them knew what they had been called for. None of them knew about then ring.
"Strangers from distant lands, friends of old. You have been summoned here to answer the threat of Mordor. Middle-Earth stands upon the brink of destruction. None can escape it. You will unite or you will fall. Each race is bound to this fate, this one doom." Announced Elrond, his voice sharp and to the point. He gestured towards the pedestal in the centre, his gaze flicking to Frodo. "Bring forth the ring, Frodo."
Frodo stood shakily, and walked the few steps forward. He could sense every single eye on him, all of them fixed on the outstretched hand as he lowered the ring onto the pedestal. The blond haired woman stared at him all the while, before flicking her penetrating gaze to the ring. Frodo turned back, and quickly made his way back to his seat beside Gandalf, suddenly feeling lighter.
"So it is true." Whispered one of the men from Gondor, staring at the ring with a mixture of fear and curiosity.
"The Doom of Men." Came another whisper from another man.
The first man then stood up, and Frodo noticed a different emblem on his clothes, not merely that of a white tree. He was about to ask Gandalf of it, but then the man began to speak, addressing the whole council.
"In a dream, I saw the eastern sky grow dark. But in the West a pale light lingered. A voice was crying: Your doom is near at hand." He stepped ever closer to the ring, his eyes staring at it. His gaze was of a different quality of the strange lady across from him. While hers was an ever-present and all-seeing stare, his look contained yearning that Frodo had never come across. "Isildur's Bane is found."
His hand then drifted over the ring, his eyes boring into it, as though he didn't see what was there. Frodo caught Elrond, Gandalf and the man and brunette woman sharing a significant look. The man's fingers hovered over the ring, but Elrond leaped out of his seat, distracting him immediately.
"Boromir!" Called Elrond, his eyes narrowing at the man before him.
Suddenly, a whispering, chanting noise echoed around them. Frodo flinched, and noticed the blond woman had paled considerably, and the man and woman were holding both of her hands. Frodo's curiosity spiked at this, while Gandalf stood up, and strange, harsh speech began to come from his mouth.
All around, clouds darkened, as thunder crackled around them. The other Council members had recoiled back, horrified. The man's green eyes, however, hadn't left that of the ring. Him and brunette seemed to be the only members of the council who hadn't recoiled, the two of them watching the ring carefully, observing it. Eventually, the chanting stopped, and Elrond shot Gandalf an annoyed look.
"Never before has any voice uttered the words of that tongue here in Imladris!" hissed Elrond.
"The ring was feeding on his desires." Announced the brunette, her tone slightly accented, her brown eyes ever observant, as she rose from where she was sat. She too, began to address the council. Frodo looked at her figure, although much taller than his own, he would guess that she was average height for a woman. The way her shoulder's hunched slightly showed that they were usual under a large amount of weight. "By coming so close to such an thing, the ring has read you. It knows and understands you more deeply than you would ever understand yourself. It will play on your fears, and eventually it would attempt to break you. As it had done to many others. The ring shouldn't be approached, unless by anyone who has a firm control over themselves, and their fears." Her brown eyes narrowed at the man, Boromir, as she walked across the stone floor, her footsteps clicking on the ground. "Therefore, no man should come into contact with it. They don't have a firm control over their minds to attempt such an endeavor. I suggest you stay in your seat, Captain of Gondor. Before you unknowingly feed the enemy information."
She then turned on her heel, walked back to her seat. Boromir watched her go, his eyes watching her every move cautiously. It suddenly hit Frodo that perhaps the man was apprehensive about speaking down to her, as he wasn't sure of her status, and didn't want to cause any problems. Frodo suddenly doubted that the man knew of her origins.
"You know of who I am, yet none here know of who you and your comrades are?" stated Boromir. "I know of no lands where women attend the councils of men, and have the courage to speak up against one. You are obviously human, and therefore I believe that you are from the South."
The word South was said as more of a hiss than anything. Frodo theorised that whatever was South of Gondor, wasn't much liked by the Gondorians. Surprisingly, Boromir's answer came from Elrond himself.
"These three are from the lands to the far North. Emissaries I sent out some three weeks past managed to reach them in time to pass message of this council to them. I thought that their input would be appreciated in such times as this. War is upon Middle-Earth, whether we truly wish for it to be, or not. We must all prepare."
"Lands to the North?" asked a dwarf. "I was told that they refused to help in Sauron's first defeat."
"For that we apologise." Said the man simply, shooting the brunette a look, and she nodded her head to him. "There were things at the time which prevented us from helping. We had other things to take care of at the time. There was little point in us partaking in a war that wouldn't affect our homeland, until such time as Sauron would be near unstoppable. Until that time, there were risks to our lands which were far greater than Sauron's."
"You cannot apologise for the acts of your ancestors." Stated a man, shaking his head slightly.
The brunette offered the council a sad smile, before she spoke.
"It was I who told the envoy that the Land of Aurum would not fight with the armies of Men and Elves. That we had other things which were more important than such an act."
A pin could drop, and Frodo's eyes widened.
"That would make you at least three thousand years…" whispered Boromir, his eyes wide in shock. He had seen the round ears she had, all three of them had. None of them were Elf-Kind.
"Yes it would." She said mysteriously, before her eyes turned to that of the ring, frowning at it. "But rather than debating the age of a woman, which I do not approve of by the way as it is most embarrassing, might we discuss the fate of this devilry before us?"
All eyes turned back to the ring, whose influence on all of them had vanished in the few moments they had been conversing with the Northerners. Boromir's eyes narrowed on it, before he stood once more.
"It is a gift. A gift to the foes of Mordor. Why not use this Ring?" He walked around the ring, careful to keep away from it, heeding the woman's warning. "Long has my father, the Steward of Gondor, kept the forces of Mordor at bay. By the blood of our people are your lands kept safe! Give Gondor the weapon of the enemy. Let us use it against him!"
Strider stood up, Frodo noted that his eyes were alight with irritation.
"You cannot wield it! None of us can. The One Ring answers to Sauron alone. It has no other master."
Boromir turned to Strider, and Frodo saw the sneer the Gondorian had upon his face.
"And what would a ranger know of this matter?"
One of the Elves from Mirkwood stood up. The elf had blond hair and pale blue eyes, and aristocratic and ageless features.
"This is no mere ranger. He is Aragorn, son of Arathorn. You owe him your allegiance." Hissed the Elf, causing Boromir to freeze in his steps, his face paling. He turned to Stider, who Frodo now realised was this Aragorn the Elf spoke of.
"Aragorn? This... is Isildur's heir?" whispered Boromir, staring at Aragorn in shock. Frodo frowned to himself, trying to work out where he had heard the name Isildur from.
"And heir to the throne of Gondor." Finished the Elf proudly, staring down Boromir.
Frodo's eyes widened, as they focused on Aragorn.
The man in question muttered something in Elfish to the Elf, who Frodo as able to identify as being called 'Legolas'. All three of them sat down.
"Gondor has no king. Gondor needs no king." Murmured Boromir.
"Aragorn is right. We cannot use it." Announced Gandalf.
"You have only one choice. The Ring must be destroyed." Stated Elrond with an air of finality.
"Then what are we waiting for?" roared a dwarf, drawing his axe and striking at the ring, causing the axe to shatter.
Frodo flinched, seeing a flash of a burning eye, before it was gone. The blond haired woman had also flinched, and Frodo wondered if she too could hear the whispering.
"The Ring cannot be destroyed, Gimli, son of Glóin, by any craft that we here possess. The Ring was made in the fires of Mount Doom. Only there can it be unmade. It must be taken deep into Mordor and cast back into the fiery chasm from whence it came." Announced Elrond, before taking a breath, and finishing saying his part. "One of you must do this."
Silence, dead silence. Frodo could barely hear them breathing, then the man, Boromir began to speak.
"One does not simply walk into Mordor-,"
"Then fly." Announced the man with green eyes, who rolled them at Boromir.
"Sauron would have placed protections around Mordor to prevent none but his Nazgul from flying into his lands." Replied the brunette. "If he hasn't, then he deserves to die for just being that foolish."
Boromir shot them both a glare, before continuing.
"Its black gates are guarded by more than just Orcs. There is evil there that does not sleep. And the great Eye is ever watchful. It is a barren wasteland. Riddled with fire and ash and dust. The very air you breathe is a poisonous fume. Not with ten thousand men could you do this. It is folly!"
Legolas shot up from his seat.
"Have you heard nothing Lord Elrond has said? The Ring must be destroyed!"
"And I suppose you think you're the one to do it!" questioned Gimli, anger present in his voice.
"And if we fail, what then? What happens when Sauron takes back what is his?" asked Boromir heatedly.
"I will be dead before I see the Ring in the hands of an Elf!" hissed Gimli, causing the other elves with Legolas to immediately stand in offense followed by the dwarves. Frodo watched the mounting arguments with wide eyes, listening to the constant whispering from the ring, as it began to become more active with their arguments. Across from him, the woman seemed to be suffering also. Suddenly, she stood up, and walked towards the ring.
Frodo watched her in confusion, as did Aragorn, Gandalf, Elrond and his sons, as well as her companions. She bent down, and tilted her head near the ring. She appeared to be studying it, as one would do a piece of art, or a piece of meat. She opened her mouth and whispered something, but over the din the others were making, Frodo couldn't hear.
The man suddenly stood up, his green eyes flashing.
"Silence." he hissed, glaring out at all of the council members, who appeared to have been shocked into silence. This man, who appeared to hold none of the authoritarian presence that the other members of the council did, had managed to get them all to be silent. "You fools didn't heed Hermione's warning. The ring can read your thoughts, your desires, your fears, hates. By arguing in such a way, you are giving it a gesture of welcome into your very beings."
He turned around, facing the blond woman on the ground. The council members all watched the small woman, who was staring at the ring with an unblinking stare. Frodo caught some of them looking towards Elrond and Gandalf, obviously wondering whether they were about to let a woman be so close to the ring, as she knelt on the floor of the council.
"Luna, what is it saying?" questioned the man, as he placed a hand on the woman's shoulder.
"It knows its end draws near." Announced the woman. Her voice was airy, as though it was coming from far away. It drifted upon the air with an almost ridiculous ease. "It knows that it will be destroyed by the Fiend Fyres of Mount Doom. The everlasting flames." Her voice seemed to drift off into a tune, as she continued to stare at it. "It knows of them. It knows that the Nazgul seek it. It wants to go back to him, so much. It seems to want to bring its master back to full strength once more…But." She trailed off, an uncertain frown appeared on her features, the most human and normal expression Frodo had seen on her face so far. "It appears to have been in contact with something else. Something darker…" She hissed something in a language that Frodo didn't know, her eyes appeared to darken slightly. "Yet, the ring will not release its full strength unless it is certain it will get back to its master. It appears to have lost some faith in its master during their three thousand years apart. That is the problem with sentient objects, they have thoughts and feelings too." Her voice had turned into that of a tune, as she took the man's hand, as he helped her up. "Wouldn't you agree, Harry."
"I would." Replied the man, Harry, ignoring the almost-amused look the woman shot up, before she almost glided back to her seat.
The members of the council stared at the woman in shock, their eyes wide. Harry brushed a hand through his hair, frowning slightly.
"Who has the ring been in contact with since its departure from Isildur? Luna has reason to believe that something else has had it at some point, something darker."
Before Boromir could open his mouth, to no doubt question Luna, Gandalf spoke from beside Frodo.
"It was found, five hundred years or so ago, by a hobbit-like creature named Déagol. Déagol was murdered by Sméagol, who took the ring for himself. Over the years, Sméagol became something else entirely, going by the name Gollum. Frodo's Uncle Bilbo found the ring on a quest I set him on sixty years ago. I only realised what precisely the ring was when Frodo inherited it from his uncle."
"So we have two thousand five hundred years unaccounted for." Whispered Harry, frowning.
"Why? What has happened?" asked Elrond.
"The ring learns from everyone it comes into contact with. It has learned the art of true darkness within the last three thousand years, an art which Sauron most definitely doesn't know. An art of which the Dark Lord's of old would have paled in comparison. The ring has now become infinitely more powerful due to this, but will not use this power unless it knows it will get back to its master." Spoke Hermione.
Elrond nodded his head.
"But who is to take the ring?" asked Legolas, his eyes flicking from person to person.
Gimli moved to argue with him, and Frodo, perceiving what was about to be said, stood up. His mouth was open and saying words before he had even realised what it was doing.
"I will take the ring."
Silence, as everyone stared at the smallest member of their council. Frodo stepped back slightly, and his spontaneous action left him for a second, before he spoke once more.
"Though, I do not know the way."
He felt Gandalf settle a hand on his shoulder, and felt warmed and heartened once more.
"I will help you bear this burden, Frodo Baggins, as long as it is yours to bear."
Frodo offered the wizard a small smile, and watched as Aragorn approached him.
"If by my life or death, I can protect you, I will." He knelt before Frodo, so that they were at eye level. "You have my sword."
"And you have my bow!" announced Legolas, as he moved to join them.
"And my axe!" said Gimli, as he approached them, shooting Legolas a disgruntled look.
"You carry the fate of us all little one. If this is indeed the will of the Council, then Gondor will see it done." Murmured Boromir, as he approached, and then stood with them.
Frodo looked around, and watched as Harry approached, and then bowed down to the hobbit, causing his eyes to widen.
"If this party will be a direct representation of all the races, united against one tyrant, then it would not look well upon my fellows and I if we didn't not join in. I offer the services of the people of the Land of Aurum. It is past time we instilled our presence back into the darkness once more."
Harry stood and joined the group.
"Heh!" Came a voice from behind them all, as a hobbit that Frodo recognised with ease joined them. "Mr. Frodo is not goin' anywhere without me!" Frodo offered an amused look towards Sam.
"No indeed, it is hardly possible to separate you even when he is summoned to a secret council and you are not." Said Elrond in an amused, almost sarcastic tone.
"Wait! We are coming too!" Came two voices in sync with one another, as two more hobbit came into the courtyard, causing Frodo's smile to widen, as mirth flooded his body.
"You'd have to send us home tied up in a sack to stop us!" said Merry.
"Anyway you need people of intelligence on this sort of mission, quest... thing." Announced Pippin, nodding his head at them.
"Well that rules you out Pip." Murmured Merry.
"Ten companions... So be it! You shall be the Fellowship of the Ring!" mused Elrond, holding his arms up in their direction.
"Great! Where are we going?" questioned Pippin, frowning at them all.
This story shall most likely be updated at some point, so keep watching this space! :) I do hope you all review. Any die hard LOTR fans with complaints I will be happy to hear from, or anyone else.
Any tips on how it can be improved, or anything. I shall very muchly appreciated.
This day also marks the 5 years I have been an active member of this site. :) Quite impressive, as I am considered an old timer I guess :)
For any of you who read my other stories, Noir et Blanc's new chapter is complete, just being betaed. Uchiha Haru is going quite well, at least, now it is. Rebirth of Ninja has come across a slight problem, but it will be updated before Summer is over.