A/N: If I could apologise for the wait for this chapter, I would. Although its not as long a wait as there is for my other stories, this is one story that should have regular updates. Sadly, I have found that a writer cannot write if they don't have the room or ability to think.
I mean this in a literal sense. Over the past few months, since March I have been unable to write. The 2 updates that I did during April were from mostly-complete chapters that were on my hard drive, but since then I have barely written anything.
I would like to thank everyone for their reviews, I shall reply to them all in due time. So if you are reading this and I haven't replied, check your inbox.
I am a firm believer that life has its ups and downs, and I should have really prepared, after all my ranting and raving that I got into my university (where there was a 1 in 25 chance of me getting in), for when the downer was going to happen. Obviously, I was unprepared, and my strength of mind has suffered for it over the past few months.
I guess I learned a valuable lesson, one that I hope everyone on here both does and does not have to learn. Life is hard at times, especially when it concerns those that are close to you and makes you doubt the very person you are, and the foundations of all your understanding in life. But in the end, maybe there is a chance that this was meant to happen, and that maybe you would be a better person for going through all of that?
Sorry for the long, philosophical rant or whatever. Enjoy this chapter people. Plot is now forming, and I have completed the Fellowship, as promised, with this chapter. Please review, they cheer me up.
Any spelling/grammar mistakes, have nor been checked. Anything that looks like I have spelt slightly wrong, or typed wrong, check your keyboard to see what I mean. I think you should all be grateful that I have got this out to you, and appreciate that I will go back and check at a later time.
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 which Sauron pales in comparison.
Rings and True Immortality
Chapter IV: Arrow Through The Heart
By The Morrigu
'You gave us some place to go.
I never said thank you for that.
I thought I might get one more chance.
What would you think of me now,
So lucky, so strong, so proud?
I never said thank you for that,
Now I'll never have a chance.
May angels lead you in.
Hear you me my friends.
On sleepless roads the sleepless go.
May angels lead you in.
So what would you think of me now?'
- 'Hear You Me' by Jimmy Eat World.
The woods of Lothlorien could only be described as majestic and elegant. Whereas Fanghorn was often thought to be cursed, the woods that hid the Elvish Kingdom were such a contrast to the home of the Ents. As the elves guided them through the woods, Harry began to compare the familiar sights he could see with what had been there so many centuries earlier. It had been quite some time since he had last lain eyes on the Lady of the Wood. Ever since she had come to visit Dux Ducis not long after the first defeat of Sauron, just as he had awoken from his sleep at the time. It was some time before that since had had last seen her, though they had stayed in contact through the use of enchanted mirrors, one of which had been gifted to the Elf Queen and her consort some seven thousand years earlier.
"Caras Galadhon...the heart of Elvendom on earth. Realm of the Lord Celeborn and of Galadriel, Lady of Light." Announced Haldir to the group, as they stood at the top of a cliff, overlooking the sights below. From here, they could see what was the centre of Lothlorien, where the trees appeared to reach the skies and were ageless. Reflecting their occupants nature with their ageless characteristics.
They soon moved on, making their way towards the centre of the woods. The nearer they got, the more majestic the talons appeared to be. The elves that lived in these areas of the woods were the nobles of Lothlorien. Though, there were not as many as there used to be, Harry noted. He reasoned that this must be due to the large numbers of elves leaving for the Grey Havens. The sun had set by now, and their pathway was lit by small mystical lights, that led them through the winding pathways through the great towering trees, that housed the heart of Elvendom. Pathways appears, winding around the trees, leading to the homes that were seated amongst the stars. Harry took the time to observe the other members of the Fellowship, and their reactions to the sight that was the realm of Lady Galadriel. The hobbits appeared to be in awe of the area around them, staring up at the towering trees in wonder, while Gimli seemed determined to be stoic as a way of honouring his own race. Boromir, was harder to read. He appeared to be going through some internal struggle, and not paying much attention to what was going on in the real world. Both Aragorn and Legolas, he knew, had been to these woods before.
They began to ascend what appeared to be the largest of the trees, with the widest winding pathway. Harry knew that the pathway led to the palace that housed the Lord and Lady of the Wood. The palace itself was a work of art, demonstrating the grandeur and mystic that the elves were famous for, while blending seamlessly into the trees themselves. Many times, he had visited these woods. So many times, that he even had his own room prepared within the woods. A small smile appeared on his face in memory, as these woods had always felt like a second home to him. He and Galadriel had always had a connection, both sharing a great responsibility, each a ring bearer in their own way. Galadriel was the only being outside of Aurum that knew their entire true origins. They reached the top, and Haldir stood to one side, presenting them to the individuals at the top of the steps. Harry made sure that he was at the back of the group, allowing the others to take in the forms of some of the eldest beings in Middle-Earth.
The Fellowship appeared to be in awe of the pair, while Aragorn saluted the pair reverently. Celeborn stepped forwards, allowing Galadriel to examine the group with little notice.
"The Enemy knows you have entered here. What hope you had in secrecy is now gone. Nine there are here, yet ten there were, set out from Rivendell. Tell me, where is Gandalf?" enquired Celeborn, his eyes flicking from each of the members, before focusing on Aragorn. Galadriel was focusing on Aragorn as well, meeting his eyes, before moving off, Celeborn doing the same. "For I much desire to speak with him...I can no longer see him from afar."
"Gandalf the Grey did not pass the borders of this land." Murmured Galadriel, her voice carrying a wispy quality, as she looked at Aragorn intently once again. "He has fallen into shadow."
"He was taken by a demon of Morgoth, a balrog." Announced Harry, causing Celeborn's eyes to narrow on his own, shock lining his face for a second before smoothening out into apathy, it happened so quickly that Harry doubted any of the others saw it.
"For we went needlessly into the net of Moria." Whispered Legolas quietly, his eyes downcast, displaying none of the characteristics of the proud Elvish Prince. Galadriel's face softened at both his words, and the dejected expression on Gimli's face. She stepped forwards so that she was closer to the Fellowship, before speaking once more.
"Needless were none of the deeds of Gandalf in life. We do not yet know his whole purpose. Do not let the great emptiness of Khazad-dûm fill your heart, Gimli, son of Glóin." Her voice held a soothing quality, to calm the nerves of the other members of the Fellowship. Her eyes then began to sweep over the other members of the Fellowship, as she continued her speech. "For the world has grown full of peril. And in all lands, love is now mingled with grief."
"What now becomes of this Fellowship? Without Gandalf, hope is lost." announced Celeborn plainly, while Harry's eyes bore into the elf's head. He understand the trick that the Elven Lord was playing. In order to separate the weak heartened of the group, from those who were far stronger. From the corner of his eyes, Harry could see the doubt clouding Boromir's gaze.
"The quest stands upon the edge of a knife. Stray but a little and it will fail to the ruin of all. Yet hope remains while the company is true." Galadriel shot a warm smile at Sam, who looked back at her unsurely. "Do not let your hearts be troubled. Go now and rest for you are weary with sorrow and much toil. Tonight you will sleep in peace."
Harry stood back, and watched as the others walked down the path they came, ready to sleep beneath the roots of the great trees of Lorien. Harry remained behind, safe in the knowledge the other members of the group were deep within their thoughts to notice his absence. Once they had disappeared from sight, Harry stepped towards his friends, offering them each a casual bow, which they returned.
"Hermione tells us that you are keeping your identity a secret?" said Celeborn, as the three of them turned towards the balcony behind them, where their conversation would be more private. They sat on cushioned seats, in order to remain comfortable.
"She stopped here on her way to Minas Tirith then? Good." stated Harry with a smile, before continuing. "Yes, I fear that tales of my title have spread far and wide. I am nothing but a fairytale to be told to children and elflings in order to make them sleep at night. As sad, but true fact. If I informed them of my true status, I get the feeling that they would be far warier of me. Besides, I enjoy being 'Just Harry', even if it will only last these few months."
"You do realise that when they do discover who you are, there will be some serious problems." said Celeborn pointedly.
"Yet, I think that I would have gained their trust by then, in order for them to not be fearful of what I represent. Being the supposed 'Master of Death' is not something that inspires trust in others."
"No, I suppose not." answered Galadriel, a light smile on her otherworldly face. "What are your opinions on Gandalf?"
"He knew what he was doing. He refused my offer of help, knowing that it was his time. I can't help but think that no matter how much hardship this causes us as a whole, this event will be beneficial to Middle-Earth. Maybe the end of Saruman." answered Harry, as he leant back in his seat. He then paused, as a thought occurred to him. "I have been in contact with the others, and we are sending our armies south. Events are happening which are beyond our control. I am sure that you recall me telling you both of a number of our group who departed from us, and disappeared within the societies down here? What I didn't tell you is that some left with the knowledge of the darkest of our magical arts. One particular piece of magic can prevent true death from ever occurring, by anchoring a persons essence to this existence. We fear Sauron may have gotten his hands on this, by recruiting one of those who left our fold. This type of magic is dangerous, and also means that with the destruction of the ring, Sauron may not be vanquished."
"You have not spoke of this with the Fellowship then?" asked Celeborn, his face drawn in sorrow.
"No. I did not wish to dampen their hopes." replied Harry.
"This anchor, sounds very similar to the One Ring though." murmured Galadriel, her tone questioning.
"Horcruxes, these anchors, are items which contains a persons essence. These items, could be anything, but it requires a great deal of magic and focus to create them. However, the difference between making one, and making several, is distinct. The method of making one, is vastly different to making several. The First Horcrux, will always be the most powerful. The only one capable of conscious thought and action. The only one with the ability to learn by what it senses around it. You are correct in your assumption, that the One Ring is a Horcrux. It is its ability to have conscious thought and action, that allows it to control all the other Rings of Power."
"All except one." said Celeborn, glancing down at a Harry's hands that were placed in his lap.
"This, isn't really a Ring of Power." said Harry, holding up the his hand, looking at the golden ring which was on his finger. "Although which each Horcrux made, the power and control each one has diminishes, it still poses the problem of keeping Sauron tied to this existence. If he manages to make another, which will be incredibly difficult for him because of the sheer difference in our types of magic, then one of us will be able to sense it. Luna will be on the lookout for any changes that happen. She will sense when it happens, just as how she cans sense the Ring at all times."
"So we can prepare for that eventuality then?"
"Yes, we will be able to."
Harry then stood, offering the two a bow.
"I should leave, before they begin to question by long absence." He turned to go, before Galadriel called after him.
"Who taught Sauron how to make the First Horcrux?" asked Galadriel.
"That, I really cannot say."
"My Lord." called a guard, as he approached Harry as he sat with some of the threstrals upon one of the towers of the Aurum, the tower the threstrals called home.
"Yes?" replied Harry, craning his neck around to see one of the newer guards, who was still unused to the presence of those of the Council, the Forever Immortals, and thus the guard remained formal. Whereas those who had been guards for decades, even centuries in some cases, had developed an ease with them. It was to these guards, that Harry and the others had developed a camraderie with, rather than those who saw them for their titles and abilities, rather than them as people.
"A man from the South has journeyed here, requesting your presence." announced the guard stiffly.
"Really? I was requested specifically? Or is it just a general matter that one of the others can deal with?" stated Harry airily, as he hauled himself up from where he sat with the creatures, giving one an absent pat on the head, which the guard found odd because he could not see them. In fact, there were few people in Aurum who could see them, it was hard to kill anyone in Aurum, and there were very few battles with other lands. Due to this, only a small percentage of the population could see the creatures that many of the Council were so fond of.
"No sire, it was a request for you specifically. But they did not ask for a meeting with the High Lord, but with a Mister Black. We were confused initially, because there are none with the name of Black residing in the city, or anywhere else for that matter. That was until the man gave us a description, and well, we knew it was you. Sir."
Harry raised a curious eyebrow, before walking towards the guard, and gesturing so that they could walk together.
"Now this is interesting. I go by Mister Black on occasions, as it is an alternate name I go by. During the times I am absent from our lands, I have journeyed the Lands to the South by the name 'Mister Harrison Black', and made many acquaintances. I assume this is one of them. Or someone who has heard of me. I assume the man is in the receiving room of the main tower?"
"I shall go and receive him then. I do hope this is an interesting conversation." said Harry brightly, before disapparating right where he stood, to the surprise of the guard who jumped back in alarm, staring at the empty space where Harry once stood.
As Harry entered the camp, he could hear the sounds of elves singing, their voices mournful. He realised that it was about Gandalf, as the elves expressed the great loss that they felt. He heard Sam muttering to Merry just a few metres away about the topic.
"I bet they don't mention his fireworks. There should be a verse about them."
He chuckled quietly to himself, as he found an area to rest in himself, as he got a few blankets and a pillow that the elves had given them.
"The finest rockets ever seen, they burst in stars of blue and green. Or after thunder...silver showers…came falling like a...rain of flowers…" rhymed Sam loudly, before sitting down suddenly, frowning to himself. "Oh, that doesn't do they justice by a long road."
"I am sure he would have appreciated it just the same." said Harry, calling their attention to him as he sat at the base of the trees, laying out his blankets.
"Where did you come from?" asked Frodo, who appeared to be the only one to notice his absence. Harry wasn't surprised by this fact, but welcomed it. As the Ring Bearer, he had to be observant.
"I was just having a few more words with Haldir and the other members of the guard, that is all. Just to make sure that there are no hard feelings." replied Harry, offering them a smile, before rolling his eyes when he heard Gimli snore from not so far away. Aragorn swatted the dwarf on the head, before walking to where a fountain was, where he could see Boromir looking pensive. He was busy watching the two of them conversing in quiet tones, that he missed Pippin's question.
"What was that?" asked Harry, as he focused his attentions on the young hobbit.
"What did you say to the elves?" questioned Pippin curiously.
"I merely reminded them of their duties to the Lady Galadriel. Haldir was refusing us entry due to his own decision, interfering with the Lady Galadriel's offer of sanctuary to us. I reminded him of this fact."
"How is it that he knew your language. I have never heard it spoken before." asked Frodo, as he came out of the shadows.
"The Lord and Lady of these Woods are regular visitors of Aurum. Haldir has accompanied them on a number of occasions. To be able to speak our language fluently is a requirement in our land, where most people can only speak it."
"Is that how you know him so well?" asked Aragorn, as he approached with Boromir trailing behind him.
"It is. We ran into each other numerous times over the past few thousand years, so we are acquaintances at best though. Each of us conducting our duties. Myself when we visit here with the Council, and he when he visits Aurum with the Lord and Lady."
"How old are you?" asked Pippin, his eyes wide. Harry then realised that this was the first time he had ever alluded to a particular age while with the Fellowship.
"Old enough to remember a time before Hobbits were around." said Harry jokingly, causing Pippin's eyes to widen in despair. Harry chuckled to himself, before continuing. "I remember a time before the Elves first journeyed here from the West."
The four hobbits all stared at him in shock, because to them Elves were beings that had existed in Middle-Earth for such an incomprehensible amount of time, that the thought of a time before them was daunting. Harry offered them a small smile, before turning his attentions to the returning solemn looking men.
"I was promised that you would tell me tales of the High Lord? I am sure that some of the will be amusing enough to cheer us up perhaps?" said Harry, directing his statement to the two men, but it was loud enough to awaken the sleeping Gimli, and to draw Legolas' attention.
"My father has spoke to me of the Land to the North." murmured Borormir. "He said that those who resided there were cowardly. Having refused to give us aid in the during Sauron's Defeat."
Harry raised an eyebrow at the opinion, but could see where the Steward had developed such an opinion. He could tell that Boromir didn't share the opinion though.
"We could not." replied Harry. "We were, and still are, preparing for our own battles against beings that in some ways are more malevolent than whatever Sauron can throw at us."
"Rohan has some interesting tales." announced Aragorn. "During one of my visits there, they speak of your Lord, as if he is welcome. The Master of Death visiting you is a sure sign that you are dead, and is meant to provide a calm to men who journey to battle. To know that they are prepared for what is on the otherside."
"That is a new one." said Harry. "I do not understand how he could journey the many leagues south in order to do that at every battle, for each individual man slain, but each to his own. Hm?"
"You seem to be very amused by this." pointed out Frodo, as he walked towards where Harry lent against the tree.
"Stories of our people, and its inhabitants amuse me. Just as I imagine tales of the Elves." He nodded to Legolas. "Dwarves." He gave a pointed look to half-asleep Gimli. "Or even those of Numenor would amuse them." The last comment was directed towards Aragorn. "These tales of the High Lord, the supposed Master of Death, have little truth to them. He is a man. Nothing more, nothing less. A man who has a wife, and several children. Lots of children, considering how old he is. He enjoys flying on Hippogriff's, and skirting around his duties as High Lord and a member of the Council. I fail to see how a man with so many faults, could also be the feared and revered legend that is within so many lands in Middle-Earth."
"Is he really like that?" asked Pippin, his eyes wide.
"Yes." said Harry, before leaning forward toward Pippin. "He also has a great fondness for cheese for some reason…"
Pippin laughed loudly, and Harry noted that the other members of the Fellowship were smiled as well. This meant that his job was done, in cheering them up.
Harry stood beside the river, staring into its depths, but not really seeing the water. They had some time before the true battle began. Some, but not a lot. His eyes were drawn to where the Fellowship was assembling, where the Elves were loading boats with supplies for them. Harry approached, and watched as Elves attached elven cloaks to each of their persons.
"Never before have we clad strangers in the garb of our own people. May these cloaks help shield you from unfriendly eyes." announced Celeborn, from where he and Galadriel were to see them off.
As the other members of the Fellowship began to get into the boats, Celeborn led Harry and Aragorn to one side.
"Every league you travel south, the danger will increase. Mordor Orcs now hold the eastern shore of the Anduin. Nor will you find safety on the western bank. Strange creatures bearing the mark of the White Hand have been seen on our borders." He looked each of them in the eyes, before continuing. "Seldom do Orcs journey in the open, under the sun, yet these have done so!"
Harry nodded his head, understanding the message.
"These are the creatures that Gandalf warned us about then." answered Harry to the unvoiced question. "Orc and Goblin hybrids. Uruk-Hai. I imagine that they would be more ferocious in battle than regular orcs."
Celeborn nodded his head, and gave Aragorn an elvish blade.
"You are being followed." announced Celeborn in Elvish, before taking a step back, directing them towards the boats. "By river you have the chance of outrunning the enemy to the Falls of Rauros."
They climbed into the boats, Harry joining Legolas and Gimli, as the Elf's light weighted form and his own made up for Gimli's heavier weight. Harry used the paddle, while Legolas was at the front of the boat, keeping watch on the river ahead. Harry chanced to look around at the other members of the Fellowship, as they left the woods. They each seemed to be lost in their own memories, no doubt of the gifts that were bestowed upon them by Galadriel. His old friend had gifted him a small dagger, that was fitted to an arm guard that she put on his right forearm. The armguard fitted perfectly over his wand holster, the holster that held his holly wand.
Harry continued to propel the boat forward, listening to the conversation of the hobbits in the other two boats, while aware of Boromir, Legolas and Aragorn focusing on what was following them. It appeared as though Gollum had some talent in tracking, but his intuition told him that it would be better if the creature was left alone.
They camped on a small island within the river, where the hobbits set about making food, as everyone rested as night fell. Harry could see Aragorn and Boromir watching Gollum's approach with caution. He also noted that Frodo was paying a keen interest in what was being said.
"Leave Gollum. He wouldn't get us caught. It wouldn't be in his interest." stated Harry resolutely, from where he appeared behind the two men, causing them to startle slightly.
"His interest?" questioned Boromir, his eyes narrowing.
"He knows that Frodo is too well-guarded to go for the Ring himself, and he knows that alerting the enemy to our presence would defeat the object of him regaining the ring. He will settle to wait for a better opportunity." replied Harry, his eyes drifting over the camp to where the other members of the Fellowship were.
"You think there would be such an opportunity?" asked Aragorn quietly, to make sure that his voice didn't carry.
"I am no Gandalf, though whether that is a good thing or not is another matter. But I cannot make such an assumption, because I doubt its accuracy." responded Harry thoughtfully, before walking back towards the campsite.
Harry reappeared outside the door of the receiving room, and painting a welcoming smile on his face, he entered the room. Two guards stood on either side of the door, and bowed as Harry entered the room. He resisted the urge to roll his eyes, but instead they drifted to the stranger who was stood before the roaring fire. The man had an ageless figure and face, and one glance at his ears proved that this was no elf. The man was handsome, and had a charismatic and friendly aura about him, that it reminded Harry of some kind of mesh between Neville and Draco. It was also a man that Harry had met in passing while travelling the Lands of Middle-Earth, some three hundred years ago.
"Annatar." called Harry in welcoming, as he stepped even further into the room. "What a surprise. How did you find me?"
"Well." came the response, as the man turned around to face him fully, a small smile on his face. "It wasn't hard to track you down. I knew that you had come from the North, so I came to find you. To discover that you were the High Lord, well that was a surprise."
"Ah, yes. That isn't something that I would want you spreading around though." pointed out Harry with a grimace, gesturing for the man to sit on the chair opposite Harry. "It is something that I enjoy, walking amongst those in Middle-Earth, who have no knowledge of my title. To act like me, without the responsibilities that come with being me. I make sure that I do it every few hundred years. So what made you travel all this way?"
"I need you help." Was the quick response, causing Harry to frown.
"With what?" asked Harry haltingly.
"Well, you know that I can do magic." To demonstrate, a small ball of magic appeared in Annatar's hand. "And, I know you can too. However, I am having some difficulties with a project of mine, and I was wondering if you could help me with it."
"The two kinds of magic that we have do not mix together well. It can cause destructive results."
"I am aware of this."
Harry frowned, before brushing a hand through his hair. With a wave of his other hand, he summoned two glasses and a container filled with some kind of spirit. As he filled the two glasses, he spoke.
"What kind of project?"
The sight of the Argonath the next day was a pleasant one. Their shapes were to act as a warning to those approaching of the lands that they were about to enter. Thousands of years later, these lands were still being protected by the people that the Argonath represented. It created a nostalgic feeling in Harry, as he could still remember when the Argonath was constructed. Soon, the reached a bank, just as the river met the falls. Here, they unpacked, and prepared camp.
"We cross the lake at nightfall. Hide the boats and continue on foot. We approach Mordor from the north." announced Aragorn, just as Harry appeared at the camp with wood.
"Oh, yes?! It's just a simple matter of finding our way through Emyn Muil? An impassable labyrinth of razor sharp rocks! And after that, it gets even better!" drawled Gimli, ignoring Pippin's alarmed look. "Festering, stinking marshlands, far as the eye can see!"
"That is our road. I suggest you take some rest and recover your strength, Master Dwarf." replied Aragorn, before leaving the dwarf grumbling to himself and Pippin.
Harry chuckled to himself as he listened to Gimli's rant to Pippin, while absently noting the whispered conversation between Legolas and Aragorn. It was only when Merry returned that he noticed that something was amiss.
"Where is Frodo?"
It was like a punch in the gut. He didn't even have to turn around to look at Boromir's area to know that the Gondorian wasn't there. That he was most likely with Frodo, with easy access to the Ring. Harry had known, all this time, that Borormir would be the Rings greatest ally within the group. But he has dismissed it as he became friendlier with the man, and now he was paying for it dearly. Already, now that he took note of it, his senses could pick up the dark atmosphere that came with the Ring's presence, as it fed off of Borormir's desires.
Before the others had really begun to put together Boromir and Frodo's disappearances, Harry had run into the woods, leaping over fallen trees. He ran so quickly, that the cries of the other members of the Fellowship were absent to him. He knew that Aragorn had also entered the woods, but the man would not be able to keep up with him, no matter his training.
He reached the ruins where he sensed the Ring's power well before Aragorn did. He could sense Frodo's presence, and knew he was using the Ring.
"Come out Frodo, before he finds you." called Harry, his eyes searching the area. Frodo appeared on the floor seconds later, after falling to the ground. Harry quickly helped him up, and Frodo jumped back the second he was on his feet. "You can trust me. I know what Boromir tried to do." Harry held his hands up as a sign of surrender.
"It took Boromir…" murmured Frodo, focusing his gaze on Harry. "Why would it not take you too?"
Harry sighed softly, before taking a small step forward.
"Just as Gandalf has refused to take the ring, and as I know Galadriel has tested herself against it, I cannot have the ring. Simply because, those of great power, would do such great evil with it. So, as with them, I am able to stop myself from succumbing to the rings influence." Here, Harry sighed, before squatting down so he was at the hobbits height. "There was a boy once, a boy of just seventeen. Not even your age. Like yourself, he had a great task upon his shoulders. A task, that if he did not accomplish, then no other would. That if he did not complete, then the entire world would be turned into chaos, and many of the boys friends would be killed simply because of the blood they carried or their beliefs. At the age of seventeen, the boy started to fight back. But, by fighting back he went at it alone. He knew, that in order to succeed, he would have to stop hiding behind everyone else, and face up to what he had to do. That in order to win he had to make sacrifices. I am sure you can empathise with this boy. You positions are not so different, no?"
Frodo was quiet for a few seconds, before speaking once more.
"What happened to this boy?" asked Frodo in a whisper.
"He survived. His task was to kill a man. A monster. He succeeded to. Everyone praised him for being a hero, but in the meantime, he earned himself a title and unwanted power that just made him that bit more unusual. He became known as the 'Master of Death'."
Frodo's eyes widened, as he stared at Harry in shock.
"Yes, you and the High Lord are not so different. Don't look so shocked. Over time I have noticed that there is a weakness in every society, in which they put all of their hopes on one individual. I am sorry to say Frodo, that that individual fails more often than not. But I have hope in you yet, Frodo Baggins. That I do."
Frodo smiled at him, and then Aragorn suddenly game running around the corner.
"Frodo." called Aragorn, his face worried.
Frodo took a step away from Aragorn, but closer to Harry, who put a hand on the hobbits shoulder.
"Can you protect me from yourself?" demanded Frodo, watching the ranger wearily, before holding the Ring out in the palm of his hand. Harry watched the ranger's reactions with interest, ready to move at the slightest possibility of the ranger going for the ring. "Would you destroy it?"
Harry could feel the Ring called out to Aragorn, no doubt to the blood that flowed through his veins, the blood that had been such a faithful ally to the Ring before. Aragorn's eyes were focused upon the Ring, as he reached out for it, and just as Harry was about to move to stop the ranger, Aragorn's hand closed Frodo's hand around the Ring.
"I would have gone with you to the end, into the very fires of Mordor." said Aragorn solemnly.
"I know. Look after the others, especially Sam. He will not understand." replied Frodo, his tone one of acceptance.
Suddenly, all the hairs on Harry's neck stood on edge, and he drew his sword immediately. In reaction to Harry's movement, Frodo copied him. It was then that they noticed the sword was blue.
"Run Frodo!" ordered Aragorn, as he ran down the steps.
"Go." urged Harry, watching Frodo as he appeared to be mulling over something.
"You were the boy in the story, weren't you?" questioned Frodo. "You are he? The High Lord?"
"We don't have time for this. Go." shouted Harry, before nodding his head just before Frodo's turned away, seeing Frodo acknowledge the new information. He watched Frodo disappear into the trees, hearing the sound of fighting behind him.
Harry leapt back towards where he knew Aragorn was. He swiftly decapitated one of the Uruk-Hai. But the sheer numbers of the enemy pushed them back. Many of them got past the duo, going towards the camp, and where the near-defenseless hobbits were.
The two moved around the area, bringing down the enemy efficiently. Harry killed two Uruk's with one slash of his sword, and noticed Legolas and Gimli joining them. The four of them continued to bring down the enemy, but they knew that it wasn't enough. Each of them hopes that the hobbits were hiding somewhere in the woods.
This continued, as blood coated their weapons, and their muscles began to strain. But, the piercing sound of a horn blast echoing through the woods gave them pause.
"The Horn of Gondor." announced Legolas.
"Boromir." stated Aragorn, before they began to run through the woods.
As they ran towards the horn, killing Uruk-Hai as they went, they each accepted that there was a chance that they might not make it. Eventually, Boromir appeared in sight, accept it was a sight that none of them wanted to see. He was on his knees, with three arrows sticking out of him. Uruk-Hai continued to run past him, moving onto something else. A quick cursory glance of the area proved to Harry that it seemed as though Boromir were protecting something, but whatever it was had disappeared by now. One of the Uruk-Hai stood over Boromir readying his bow for the killing strike.
It occurred to Harry, in those few seconds, that he never really appreciated the gift that those who lived in Aurum could bestow upon the world. He knew that with the speed the others were travelling at, they wouldn't make it in time. So, Harry pushed his magic into his muscles. He knew that he would feeling the strain later, and regret doing this. But he knew it was for the best. Just as the arrow left the string, Harry appeared in front of Boromir. The arrow went straight through Harry's heart, and the force of it at such close quarters knocked him back, causing him to hit Boromir before rolling off to the side. Before the Uruk-Hai had a chance to continue, Aragorn crashed into the creature, thus starting a fight with it. Harry distantly noticed that the others were fighting other Uruk's. Harry merely concentrated on breathing in slowly, ignoring that any other person would have died by now, and that the others probably assumed that he was dead. He merely focused on the breathing, and ignored how painful this was, and how he had been through worse. Which was a sad thought, because how could someone have experienced something more painful than having an arrow through the heart, and still be alive.
He registered the sound of fighting stop all around him, and knew it was now safe for the others to notice he was alive. He focused his energy on moving, and listening to the conversation between the two men, in order to see when Boromir was about to pass.
"They took the little ones." whimpered Boromir.
"Be still." ordered Aragorn, who was no doubt trying to heal such wounds. Wounds that could not be healed through non-magical means.
"Frodo! Where is Frodo?" questioned Boromir, his tone pleading.
"I let Frodo go."
"Then you did what I could not. I tried to take the Ring from him." murmured Boromir, his voice barely above a whisper.
"The Ring is beyond our reach now."
"Forgive me. I did not see it. I have failed you all." said Boromir, ashamed.
"No, Boromir, you fought bravely! You have kept your honour." responded Aragorn.
"Leave it! It is over. The world of men will fall, and all will come to darkness… and my city to ruin." Harry assumed that Aragorn had tried to remove the arrows.
"I do not know what strength is in my blood, but I swear to you I will not let the White City fall…nor our people fail!"
"Our people? Our people." whispered Borormir, his tone wistful. "I would have followed you my Brother…my Captain…My King!"
There was silence, and Harry took that as the time to move. He did so, ignoring the shocked look on Aragorn's face.
"Has he passed?" questioned Harry, standing up and moving towards Boromir quickly, ignoring the pain the movement caused, and the wide eyed look on Aragorn's face when he saw the arrow through Harry's chest.
"Move." said Harry, as he knelt down and tossed his satchel to Aragorn. "There should be an wooden box in there, take it out. I will need it." Harry then began to remove the arrows, and took the box that was handed to him from Aragorn.
"What are you doing?"
"I am going to bring him back. In Aurum, we can bring people back. It is all the matter of getting the heart beating. But first, I need to heal his injuries."
He took out several potions, and poured them into the wounds, which cauterised them, causing them to scar immediately. Then, Harry sighed, and took the wand out of his left holster. The Elder Wand. He need the more powerful wand of the two to guarantee that this would work. Placing the wand tip on Boromir's chest, he silently cast the spell. Immediately, two things happened. Oxygen poured into Boromir's system, and a electrical current hit his heart, causing it to start beating again.
Harry lifted his eyes to face Aragorn, with Legolas and Gimli by his side, who were staring at him in shock as the sounds of Boromir's breathing echoed throughout the clearing.
Soon, the man opened his eyes, and the first thing he saw was Harry, who still had an arrow through his chest.
"I must be dead." Was the man's statement, as he stared at Harry wide-eyed.
"I hope not, otherwise I did a pour job of healing you." replied Harry, stretching his aching muscles, and wincing the pain around where the arrow was increased dramatically.
"But you have an arrow speared through your chest." answered Boromir confused.
"I think I noticed. You need to drink this, you lost a lot of blood." said Harry dismissively handing a vial to Boromir. "I need one of you to remove the arrow. If I do it, it will splinter, which make it that much more painful over the next few days because I will have to remove the splinters myself. Making the whole thing much more bloody."
Legolas offered, and Harry relaxed his muscles as the elf removed the arrow cleanly. The pain was gone almost immediately, and Harry rolled his shoulders as he felt his muscles already beginning to heal, and a thin layer of skin over the wound already.
"I thought I was dead." said a confused Boromir, as he stood up with ease, not feeling the slightest bit strained, as his injuries had been healed.
"You were, for about thirty seconds." replied Harry. "But I thought that after making such a mistake, you deserved to redeem yourself. Look as this as my way of letting you do as such."
"If we hurry now, we can reach Frodo and Sam." said Legolas, making a movement to go and follow the two hobbits. When neither of the men moved, he paused. "You mean not to follow them?"
"Frodo's fate is no longer in our hands." said Aragorn with a tone of finality.
"Then it has all been in vain! The Fellowship has failed." announced Gimli mournfully.
"Not if we hold true to each other. For then, the Fellowship will continue." stated Aragorn.
"We will not abandon Merry and Pippin to torment and death. Not while we have strength left. Leave all that can be spared behind. We travel light. Let us hunt some Orc!" continued Boromir, as he sheathed and cleaned his sword. Harry mimicked him. Even as the others followed Aragorn as they left, following the Uruk-Hai, Harry looked towards the Eastern Shore, where Frodo and Sam would be.
"I am so sorry Frodo." murmured Harry. "I have passed this burden to you, and for that I don't think I can ever truly apologise. Good luck my friend. Stay strong."
With that, he followed the remaining members of the Fellowship.
"You want to imbue metals with magic?" questioned Harry, his tone interested. "Why?"
"As gifts." replied Annatar. "Not all races are able to channel magic so easily as you and I, do you not believe it is fair to be on equal footing with everyone?"
"Perhaps." replied Harry. "But some metals react differently with different types of magic. Some metals store and channel some magic better than others."
"Well, I think the two best stores for magic are gold and mithril. They both store and channel magic incredibly well. They are also able to feed off of the magic stored within as a self-protection mechanism. These types of metals are only suited to powerful enchantments and other such things. Anything less would be a mockery." lectured Harry, his thoughts whirring. "As gifts though, depending on the type of magic each ring carries, will have an effect on the metal of the rings. For example, if you wished to put an enchantment onto the rings to make someone more courageous and daring, I would use gold, or some of the purer mithril samples. Or if it was an enchantment to make the wearer happier, and more inclined to listen to advice, which you and I know that the men of the world are in need of, then silver or regular mithril should be used. The elves are helping you with this project?"
"Yes they are, I got the inspiration because I hear the elves are planning to create three for themselves, and I thought I should lend a hand throughout the entire process." replied Annatar, a small smile on his lips. "What if, a singular ring were to be made? What kind of metal should be used then?"
"What kind of properties would it have to have?"
"For it to be highly durable, and able to store an immense amount of power, and be able to channel it as well. I understand that at times, I can put people off due to my aura. Just like yourself. I wish to make one for myself, so that I can store my power away to make others at ease, so that relations between others and I can go that much faster. It also means that I have easier access to my power."
Harry's expression turned thoughtful, as he stood up and walked towards the door.
"Come with me, I shall show you to the library. There are books there that I think you should read, because the ore that I think you will be needing is extremely rare to find. I know of no dwarf that has it, and we have only found small spots of our land that carries it."
The two of them walked down the halls, entering the expansive private library that Harry had collected over his life. The walls were lined with so many books, that it was astounding that they all managed to fit into the room.
"You wouldn't think I was such a reader, now would you? I am not exactly the most intelligent of people." said Harry with a grin as he walked towards a certain section, bypassing a part of the bookcases that was full of leather-bound books which were darkly coloured and stained in places.
"Those books look to be in bad condition. Could you not tread them better?"
"It was their former owners who treated them as such, after all what more can you expect of owners who revered the contents of those books." replied Harry absently, before grabbing a book of one of the shelves, and opening it on a table between the two men. "I believe that you should be after the rare ore, of gold mythril. Most mythril is of a silvery colour, and although this type of mythril is not normally stronger, it has a slightly different property. It absorbed the properties of the environment it is in, so only the exact same properties could reverse the process of forming the metal."
"So, should it be melted down in an environment that was hard to get to, it would only be in that exact same place that the process could be reversed?"
"Something like that, yes. It is quite an intriguing property, we had to stop Hermione from testing on the ore because she would have drained our ore sources dry. But this is the best solution, it would be impossible to destroy unless it was melted down in the place it was initially forged, and due to its being mithril, it should be able to be used for the purposes you want it for."
"Yes, I believe this would be suitable." came Annatar's response, a distant look in his eyes as he eyes the other books around him. Harry made a non-commital notice, leafing through the book out of interest. So he missed it when Annatar's eyes focused on the leather bound books which contained content that was of a dark nature. A maniacal grin appeared on Annatar's face, but it was wiped off when the door was opened.
"Father." called the woman that walked into the room, glancing around the room to spot the man. The woman was tall and thin, reaching a height a little less than her father. She had red hair, so red that would remind any man of a burning fire. Her eyes were a warm chocolate brown, which warmed at the sight of her father. "The others want you in the council room." She shot Annatar a welcoming smile. "So this is the mysterious friend that you made on your travels hm?"
"Yes. Leave him be, he has a project to finish." replied Harry, before looking at Annatar. "Annatar, meet Lily, my eldest daughter. Lily, meet Annatar. He's here for some advice on metal ores and magic."
"That's interesting." Was Lily's dull response, her expression then smoothened out. "You coming?"
"Sure, I think we are finished here." said Harry, ushering the other two out of the room. As Harry turned to close the door, he missed the shared look between Annatar and Lily.
In fact, over the years it seemed as though Harry missed a lot through this one eventful meeting. A meeting between what was an old friend and himself, one that showed that the years in solitude had made them complacent. Made them miss the signs, made them more welcoming and less paranoid. The centuries and millennia that followed this conversation would forever be ingrained in Harry's head. Not only because of the conversations content, but because a month after the conversation, the books that Harry had pointed out in the library had all mysteriously vanished.
Books that had a detailed description how to go about creating the First Horcrux, how to bind others to themselves such as the Dark Lord Voldemort did with the Dark Mark, and other areas of Dark Magic.
When the Dark Lord Sauron unveiled the rings of power, and the full force of their power was demonstrated to everyone, it was Harry who understood where this power had originated from. That the name 'Sauron the Deceiver' was not merely applied to those in Middle-Earth. That the term when applied to Harry himself referred to what was probably Sauron's biggest achievement, deceiving the great and powerful High Lord of Aurum and the Master of Death. It was also one of Harry's biggest regrets and something he was ashamed of. Second only to one other incident.
Harry had never thought that he would sympathise with Horace Slughorn for what he told Tom Riddle, but after he truly realised the crime he had committed against humanity that day almost six thousand years ago, he knew that his old Potions Master would have company wherever he was now, once Harry did hopefully join him. After all, there has to be a special place reserved for people like them. Each time he put any thought into the crime he had committed, he a sharp pain filled his chest, at the thought of the millions of lives that had suffered due to his choices and mistakes. For all the power that he had, he did not deserve it. This realisation, was like an arrow through the heart.
Note: To those who didn't realise, Annatar and Sauron are one and the same. It is a name Sauron went by to gain peoples trust, then he later deceived them. Hence 'Sauron the Deceiver'.
Hey everyone! This is chapter four, and I hope you all enjoyed it. :) I am so sorry for the long wait, but life has been hectic. Read the A/N at the top of this page for more information. I am not just trying to blow anyone off for the usual 'RL has been important etc' but I really mean it.
Although I have only been around for eighteen years, I doubt that I will ever have to go through anything this bad for the rest of my life. Or rather, I hope not. It's taken my a while to get my head together, and if anyone wants to have any more information, or offer me condolences, then please be my guest. It will probably cheer me up and make me write more etc.
Just so you all know, this is the first of the stories to be updated. The others should be soon. I get my exam results on 20/08/09, so I will be updating a fair bit until them due to nerves etc etc. This is the hope though, no promises.
Until then, I hope you have all enjoyed my ramblings, and look forward to the future chapters, which I can promise you, will be VERY interesting ;)
Please review, it will cheer me up etc.
Love Morrigu-chan x