Author's Note- I think Minas Tirith is Mykonos in mountain-mode. In the movie, Legolas was kick-ass. In the book, Legolas was kick-ass and slightly metro, like all other elves, truly.
Oh blissful end of narratives and storytelling, how close you are! Am I the first one to get this far in an HP LOTR crossover? Did I make it this far? Granted there are better crossover fics out there (*cough* Concerning Wizards *cough*) who aren't as lazy as I, I, who squeezed the entire trilogy in six chapters. It's like squeezing the juice of a lemon into a glass and downing it like vodka after adding a pinch of salt. But I made it this far! Oh brave new world… Wait, that's not the proper situational quote. Here is a Bonus!
Begin Missing Scene: Rivendell.
Harry parted the bushes and searched the trees as he frantically muttered to himself. At an utter lost, he stood in the middle of the gardens and grabbed his hair, as if that will speed up his thought processes. Aragorn spotted him and inquired, "What is wrong?"
"I lost her! She's gone!" Harry exclaimed, opening the lid of a decorative jar and then closing it.
"Arwen! She was in my shirt last night but now I can't find her!"
"…I beg pardon?"
End Missing Scene: Rivendell. I have to admit that this was the sole reason why I named a snake Arwen.
Note- I may present to you the semi-epilogue. Pardon my bad elvish. I don't own Lord of the Rings or Harry Potter. And I don't know any British cussing. There will be no pairings. I liberally took lines from the book. The timeline was butchered; there are no eagles.
"Speaking"= English. 'Thoughts'= English.
Summary- He was in an alien realm, surrounded by trees, rings, Malfoy-like elves, and castle kingdoms. Harry Potter doesn't know how he got here or how to get out. There's a war going on and he's determined to stay out of it, until it drags him in. Forget about the old world of Hogwarts and Voldemort, he has to survive.
A Harry Potter/ Lord of the Rings Crossover
Tales of a Wanderer: Return of the King and the West
Three Rings for the Elven-kings under the sky,
Seven for the Dwarf-lords in their halls of stone,
Nine for Mortal Men doomed to die,
One for the Dark Lord on his dark throne
In the Land of Mordor where the Shadows lie.
One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them,
One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them
In the Land of Mordor where the Shadows lie.
Harry's life debt to Aragorn was lifted the moment he released the Army of the Dead from their stranglehold to Middle Earth. He had informed the future king of this fact and, surprisingly, got a huge hug from the Ranger. Perhaps the man missed him? He had also gotten embraced by both the elf and the dwarf at the same time; it was an interesting experience considering the major height differences between the three of them. That's good, because he missed them too. Pippin had bounded off in hopes of finding Merry, who was rumored among the Riders of Rohan to be one of the slayers of the Witch King. Gandalf had aided in the Hobbit's search.
Harry walked into the House of Healing in one of the higher levels. Healers and Herb-specialists hurried to and fro, from patient to patient. The sun's light, already muted by the dirty windows, highlighted the amount of dust in the room. Overall, this was a quiet place, where people can sleep. As hours go by, more and more of the injured were being sent in and it was always busy. Hedwig was in the stables, already treated. He reckoned that it'll be a couple of days before she's in tip-top shape, but at least it was a full recovery. He, himself, had both his arms and legs bandaged from the arrow wounds and the single laceration on his arm by the Orc's sword, couldn't even see his own fingernails. It didn't sting till the nurses (an army of Pomfreys) applied the balms.
Feet stopped, he stood in the middle of organized chaos, looking around at the many bed, white and clean, a single sheet and pillow. In fact, in this room there were only a couple of patients, one of them whom he was looking for. "Tell my brother, when this is over, that-", Yes, those were Boromir's words, weren't they? The man has come a long way since he's died, losing his sinful pride, his gift reflect that transformation. Around Harry's neck, hanging from a leather string, was the prized Horn of Gondor. The Istar took it out and turned it over in his hands, smooth to the touch; there wasn't any hint of a crack, strange. Over there, at the corner, lying down on the bed and awake. Harry quickened his pace.
Faramir's face was set in stone, a marble statue made by Michelangelo. "Steward? Faramir?" The man turned his head, his eyes lit up in recognition. Harry pulled up a chair and sat down, "How are you feeling?" The patient opened his mouth and started coughing.
"He can't speak now, dear," a passing nurse tsked, "It's hard for his chest."
Guilt. "Oh. Sorry." Guilty silence. He cleared his throat into his hand, "So I would like to give you this. It belonged to Boromir, you should recognize it." In one swift move, he held the Horn of Gondor in his hands and presented it to the man like a sword. Faramir looked up with a questioning expression that was easily translated. Harry shook his head, "You are the new Steward and I think you should have it."
A weak hand with burns decorating the skin reached up and pushed the Horn back. Faramir grimaced and shook his head, his eyes conveying his meaning, 'It's yours. If my brother wanted you to have it, then you should keep it and cherish it.' The Gondorian man's eyes were warm and kind, they held hidden depths of compassion and knowing. This man's a rare breed in this world ravaged by war. (A bustle of nurses rushed in with another patient, this time a Rohirrim, a woman, Eowyn, who was unconscious and sporting a blackened arm. They lowered her into a nearby ward.)
The young Istar bit his lower lip nervously, gazing down at the ancient relic before whispering, "He always loved you, you know. I don't think he truly ever left your side. That you can't doubt. He wanted to tell you that he was proud of you." He spoke as Faramir's eyes grew wider in recognition of a memory, "Do you understand? You are his little brother and he will keep protecting you. There's a life here suited for you and no one wants you to throw it away."
"I'm dreadfully hungry," Merry, sitting upright in his bed with Pippin at his side, informed Harry the moment he entered, "I daresay I will have the stomach for five breakfasts."
"That's quite a feat," Harry laughingly replied as he crossed the room, "your feast, oh noble fighter, will be with you shortly." He sat down on the other end of the Hobbit as the pair shifted to the side of the bed to give him room. The off-white curtains gently swayed at the cool breeze from the mountains. There was a helmet from Rohan that looked to be fitted for either a young teen or a woman that was placed proudly on the bedside.
"You've just missed Strider not a few moments past. He left with Gandalf after expressing his wishes to our health." Pippin pointed out.
"Aragorn, right?" 'Strider? Oh yeah, he was a Ranger.' Harry looked back at the doorway, as if expecting the man to walk by at any moment and remarked, "The people of Minas Tirith are in awe at his return. They called him 'Elfstone' after the green brooch that I have never seen him without." A servant came in with a tray, "There's the feast fit for five kings, Merry." The Halfling's expression brightened: six separate dishes of fantastical meals and a large goblet of mead.
"Come Merry and eat till our stomachs cannot take anymore." Pippin cajoled, "But let us eat quietly enough so we might even be able to hear Legolas's dulcet tones in the courtyard. Elven songs can raise a heart's spirit, I daresay. Join us Harry as we Hobbits always enjoy company!"
His sixth sense ran over his skin in the form of goose bumps before any signs of danger were present. &Wise One, the winged-serpent is close.& Arwen hissed weakly, flicking her tongue at the air. Suddenly, an innocent midnight stroll changed into a dangerous patrol.
No window was a light, nor was any torches or lanterns at such a time but the full moon was more than kind enough to provide ample vision. &Where?& But the answer wasn't needed as immediately after, a black shadow soundlessly passed above them and over the buildings. The shadow's wind brushed over his hair and expanded to reveal an impressive set of leathery wings and a long tail, characteristic of a Fell beast.
Harry cursed and broke into a run, determined to catch up to the creature. Ran through a pebbled alley and vaulted over a pile of rubble that hasn't been cleared away; up a set of stairs and along the edge, he leaped onto the wall and peered over. Below him were Aragorn and the Fell Beast, eyeing one another apprehensively, charging tension between them and they were very close to fighting. The bystander wondered why they didn't already. Aragorn had his sword out and was poised to strike, his lips were moving but he couldn't be heard. What was he saying? The Serpent shook its head disdainfully and slowly crept forward. The city slept.
In a split second decision, he shot a fireball at the creature, which stumbled forward at his power, shrieking in pain, and spun around. Its back was singed but there wasn't any internal damage. Black eyes raked over his figure in speculation. &That did not hurt much.& Harry gulped as the Fell Beast's mouth curled in a twisted smile, its eyes of fire glittering in the darkness, &Snake-Speaker. Can you sense my master, Sauron the Great, within me? He is anxious to meet you and…& The beast twisted its head to give Aragorn another glance, &the descendent of Isildur.&
Emerald fire swirled around the top of the grey staff in warning as he threatened, &Leave before I make you.&
The creature tossed its head back and screeched before flapping its leathery wings and rising into the air. &He sees all.& The dark windows of the city lighted as people woke from the noise. Weary, Aragorn tucked his sword back into his sheaf, nodded at Harry, and departed. Some sentry men arrived on the scene but were confused at the emptiness of the courtyard. Allowing the sentry to keep their confusion, Harry backed off from the edge nimbly and disappeared into the shadows.
"But how is this?" asked Éomer to the others. "All is vain, you say, if Sauron has the Ring. Why should he think it not to assail us, if we have it?"
The much welcomed, lit fireplace made the night warm and toasty and filled the silence with cracking wood and rising ashes. Everyone was on their feet except for Gimli, who was lounging on the throne, and Harry, who sat on the ground with his head tucked between his knees. 'Because Sauron knows that in the end, he'll have the Ring, he can wait. Like a predator in wait.' Harry drew a line in the corner of the floor boards. Not clean enough.
"Sauron is not yet sure," said Gandalf, "and he has not built up his power by waiting until his enemies are secure, as we have done. Indeed it can be used only by one master alone, not by many; and he will look for a time of strife, ere one of the great among us makes himself master and puts down the others." Éomer drew in a sharp intake of breath. The wizened Istar stroked his beard in deep thought, "He is watching. He sees much and hears much. His Nazgûl are still abroad and they are his eyes. They passed over this field ere the sunrise, though few of the weary and sleeping were aware of him. He studies the signs: he studies the Sword that robbed him of his treasure re-made and the King who wields it and he realizes; the winds of fortune in our favor, and the defeat unlooked- for of his first assault; the fall of his great Captain."
'By a woman and a Hobbit.' Harry thought smugly as he picked up a small dust bunny from the ground and flicked it into the fire and watched it pop, 'It is concluded that prophecies are moot point.'
"But how do you know that he hasn't gotten the Ring now? The darkness is deepening." Legolas murmured, leaning casually back with his arms crossed. Fair hair covered most of his distressed features and the shadows hid the rest.
Gandalf paused and locked eyes with the younger Istar and a silent message connect between them. They both nodded as one. "Frodo has passed beyond my sight. The Ring has eluded Harry's vision since the Battle of Pelennor Fields."
"If the Ring is in Sauron's hands, we would know of it." Aragorn paced to and fro.
"It's only a matter of time," Mithrandir clasped his hands together, "He has suffered a defeat, but behind the walls, our enemy is regrouping." Éomer furrowed his brow as he stared at the floorboards, pondering.
Sitting inelegantly on a seat fit for a king, Gimli puffed on his pipe and gruffly declared, "Let him stay there. Let them rot! Why should we care?"
The elder Istar turned, "Because ten thousand Orcs now stand between Frodo and Mount Doom." His eyes temporarily lost focus and he whispered regretfully, "I've sent him to his death."
"There's still hope," Aragorn's voice rang in the council room, "We cannot achieve victory by arms, but by arms we can give the Ring-bearer his only chance, frail though it be." He punched his left hand with his right fist, "We must push Sauron to his last throw. We must call out his hidden strength, so that he shall empty his land. We must march out to meet him at once. We must make ourselves the bait, though his jaws should close on us."
"A diversion." The elf's eyes glowed in understanding.
Aragorn nodded, "He will take the bait, in hope and in greed, for he will think that in such rashness he sees the pride of the new Ringlord: and he will say: 'So! He pushes out his neck too soon and too far. Let him come on, and behold I will have him in a trap from which he cannot escape. There I will crush him, and what he has taken in his insolence shall be mine forever.' He had seen me and he had beheld the Sword of Elendil. And unknowing, he will give Frodo safe passage through the Plains of Gorgoroth." Harry felt a corner of his mouth twitch. It was crazy enough, but for the destruction of the Ring, they would do anything.
Gimli chuckled and raised his pipe, "Certainty of death. Small chance of success. Well, what are we waiting for? Gather up all our warworthy men and let us march!"
Night, Dawn, Morning: as soon as the provisions were packed, men began to saddle up and bid good bye and kiss their families and sweethearts. The women weren't too happy with the departure and they excluded an atmosphere of pure woman-guilt that silently shrieked, "How could you?" more lighthearted than what many expected; in an anger that reminded Harry of Molly Weasley and Mr. Weasley's stitches. Fond memory- that one. People hustled about, eager to be on their way, and the citizens of Minas Tirith, once again, watched their soldiers depart from the high walls. Harry blew into the Gondor Horn along with all the sounding trumpets that saw to their exodus. Petals floated down seemly from the skies and it smelled of spring. The army led by Aragorn marched out to the East to the Black Gates of Mordor. Sounds of armor knocking on armor and shields on spears and swords overrode any feeble attempt at conversation.
Harry sat on Hedwig's back with his staff parallel to the ground repeating Gimli's words, "Certainty of death. Small chance of success. Nothing to worry about, of course. Not going to be outnumbered or decimated, or maybe we will, but this is for the good of the Ring-Bearer. The entirety of Sauron's enemy will be meeting us. Easy passage to Mount Doom. Easy passage to Mount Doom." Harry repeated to himself. He then froze.
Another vision: A dark haired Hobbit with haunted eyes, carrying a weight, an unspeakable burden around his neck. That Ring, the One Ring calls for its master…
Ahead were the imposing Black Gates, thick and tall and curse-driven; the many spikes that pierced out from the top only added to its intimidation. The army stopped meters back from the entrance and stood, unsure what should be the next action. Aragorn, Mithrandir, Éomer, Legolas, and Gimli rode forward, unopposed. On the ground, Harry hesitantly guided Hedwig some distance behind Pippin and Merry who had stayed behind with the men. "Let the Lord of the Black Lands come forth!" It was surprising how Strider's voice easily echoed off the Gate.
The Gate creaked open revealing a lone rider in full armor, but Harry's view was partially blocked and he couldn't see the face. Their receiver talked in a sibilant hiss that was like the Ring's whispers, "My master, Sauron the Great, bids you welcome. Is there anyone in this rout with authority to treat with me? Or indeed with wit to understand me? Not thou at least!"
"Where such laws hold," chided Gandalf fearlessly, "it is also the custom for ambassadors to use less insolence."
"So!" said the Messenger, rounding accusingly on the wizard, "Then thou art the spokesperson, Grey Beard? We've heard of thou. Famed for his wanderings, hatching plots and mischief at a safe distance? But this time thou have stuck its nose too far. I have tokens I was bidden to show thee, if thou had dared to come." The servant of Sauron pulled out something and threw it to Mithrandir.
Unable to see any of the party's faces or the object in question, Harry craned his neck but still he was unable to see. He got a good hint to what it was when Pippin choked and cried with grief, "Frodo!"
"Another imp of yours, Gandalf? Sauron does not love spies." After laughing wickedly, the Messenger sneered, "It is a game to see how much suffering a Halfling can endure and the results pleased us all greatly." Pippin gave a harsh sob.
"What are your terms?" Gandalf asked steadily.
"These are the terms. Your rabble shall withdraw and all shall leave the lands West of Anduin to the Misty Mountains and the Gap of Rohan to Mordor's hands." Aragorn urged his horse ahead and advanced ever closer. "Ahh, what is this? Isildur's heir?" A short pause, sounds of a sword being drawn, "It takes more to make a king than a broken elvish blade."
Aragorn struck fast as lightning. The Messenger's head fell to the ground, giving everyone a good glimpse at its enlarged mouth in a helmet and the horrid, jaundiced teeth. Some soldiers in the back twitched at the sight. Most stared in astonishment as the head and helmet combination rolled once more before coming to a stop, facing the skies. Black blood seeped into the soil. "I guess that concludes negotiations," Gimli grunted and hefted his axe.
"I do not believe it." Aragorn addressed the Company and glared at the offending object, "I will not." An orange glow descended upon the entire alliance of men. Harry shivered under the feeling of malicious intent. The Eye of Sauron was upon them and the Black Gates of Mordor opened.
Behind the man, their leader, were the rolling drums and the leaping fires and from there, streamed a great host as swiftly as swirling waters when a sluice is lifted. But the servants of Sauron marched remarkably slow considering the home field advantage, painstakingly slow, as if trying to draw out the most pleasure from the experience of easy killings. Undaunted, Aragorn rode back to the army and he delivered the following speech.
"Sons of Gondor! Of Rohan! My brothers! I see in your eyes the same fear that would take the heart of me." Harry casted a nervous glance as the Mordor army continued to close them in. An Orc mockingly licked its chops in his direction.
Aragorn, paying no heed, continued with force, "A day may come when the courage of Men fails, when we forsake our friends and break all bonds of fellowship, but it is not this day. An hour of wolves and shattered shields when the Age of Men comes crashing down, but it is not this day! This day we fight!" Through helmets and eye slits, the warriors looked up at this figure in awe, crowned by the light behind him, it magnified his presence. Aragorn drew his sword; his men drew their swords. "By all that you hold dear on this good earth, I bid you, Stand!" The Orcs were moving around them at all sides with drums and jeers till there was no escape. "Men of the West!" The swords pointed to the clouds and the skies and a great shout rang among warriors of the King.
They were trapped and all about the grey mounds where they stood, forces ten times and more than ten times their match would ring them in a sea of enemies. The glow of the Eye still shined down on them. Harry's hand nervously twitched over his staff, 'Look on the bright side, Sauron has taken the bait, at least. The Ring-bearer better make the best of it.' He whispered to his mount, "Courage for us, Hedwig. Have courage."
Turning around, the King of Gondor looked ahead at his foes, hesitated, and looked back. "For Frodo," he said serenely. Then he rushed forward with a great battle cry and everybody followed.
Valiant. Bloodshed. Fury. Steel clanged against steel and other war-noises in general. The first wave of assault drew the men back, but then they gave pressure and pushed and pushed. Harry unleashed another fireball at the repeated charge, soaring over the Company and then aimed another three, throwing Orcs into the air, burning with green fire. Another fire, more burning Orcs, but they didn't dodge his attacks like they dodged the boulders catapulted from Minas Tirith in the last battle. Instead, for every dead Orc or Troll or whatever humanoid was out there, three more filled the gap, and they moved surprisingly fast. From his position, he could smell burning Orc-flesh very distinctly, bitter, like charred ash with too much added flavors.
From his position, he couldn't identify anybody too clearly due to the hazy smoke and distance. The spot of white was, his best guess, Mithrandir, but everyone else was up in the air. At least it was easy to differentiate allies with enemies: grey and black. Avoid grey, aim for black. The skies were grey… He shot another fireball and got the results he wanted. More Orcs poured in.
His sole goal was to create as much space as he could between the frontlines and Mordor's army and in that way, he'll create more time and more time for the Eye to be distracted, and hopefully, by amazing luck, they might all just get out of this alive. No, they will get out of this alive, even if he had to ferry every single wounded man with a blindside, large field levitation spell. Briefly, as he dodged a flying sword, he wondered why there weren't any archers, but chalked it up to arrogance by the enemy. Evil never changes.
Shrieks reached his ears from beyond the Black Gate. He could easily recognize them.
"They come," he shuddered and pulled up to meet the coming beasts, not bothering to count how many there were. 'Don't let them touch the people below. Occupy them in the air.'
&We meet again, Speaker.& As unison, the Fell Beasts twisted down. Mustering his forgotten Quidditch skills, Harry dodged their sharp jaws and barrel-rolled up. Hedwig screeched and tilted a wing, turning around to meet the creatures again. Blood splattered onto his face, the owl's claws dripped with them, he spat out downy feathers. He wondered the possibilities of the serpents sharing a common mind. He flung out two fireballs to clear the space ahead; they agilely dodged, so easily that he knew that the creatures were taunting him. This intricate dance, drawing blood drop by drop, degenerated on his side into a series of reaction based counter-attacks. It was too hard for him to think each strategic move forward and his plan went down to the basics: attack and put as much space as you can between.
One side was bound to fall and they both waited patiently for the other to give, to suddenly break formation or to lower their defenses, just an inch. He placed his hands on Hedwig's back, then a foot, and then, wobbling, another foot, then he let go. It was just like First Year Hogwarts; he stood on Hedwig's back. Behind were three beasts and front had one, determined to collide head-on, Harry waited, balancing precariously. The serpent was within reach; it opened its jaws and lunged with its claws….
And Harry jumped.
Arms out, legs bent back, his cloak fluttered in midair, like wings. The Grey Istar pointed his staff at the incoming attack: a great serpent of emerald fire erupted forth and lashed out immediately at three Fell Beasts behind, who recoiled and tried to shake the flames off. He twisted his staff around and the green serpent followed. The single Fell Beast flew under the fire and shot directly at him; Harry drew his sword and braced himself. He crashed into the Fell Beast's outstretched neck. Hedwig latched onto the claws of the other in challenge and didn't let go and both spiraled down. Harry swung blindly at the beast but his sword couldn't pierce…
His stomach plummeted as they accelerated down and down the three of them. Hedwig vainly tried to struggle free but the grip of the other didn't lessen. Down and down the ground came closer. Harry tightly closed his eyes and gripped onto rough scales, which way was up? Which was down? Sky, mountains, army, Fell Beast, sky, army, Hedwig, Fell Beast…
And then the Fell Beast let go and flung itself back. Not anticipating the move, Harry was thrown off straight into the air. Hedwig shot up under him and allowed him grabbed onto her reins as he climbed back up her. The screaming Fell Beast was fleeing away over the Black Gates and to Mordor… 'And speaking of Mordor…'
Harry watched in fascination as the Tower of Barad-dúr collapsed. He mentally slapped himself out of his stupor as the earth collapsed in Mordor and under the feet of its creatures, 'Frodo and Sam…' With a nudge, he cleanly steered Hedwig into the black lands to find the Halflings.
Frodo imagined swirling cloud in the midst of towers and battlements, tall as hills, founded upon a mighty mountain-throne above immeasurable pits; great courts and dungeons, eyeless prisons sheer as cliffs, and gaping gates of steel and adamant: and then all past. He croaked and sucked in dry air between his cracked lips and swollen tongue. Towers fell and mountains slid; walls crumbled and melted, crashing down; vast spires of smoke and spouting steams went billowing up, up, until they toppled like an overwhelming wave and crashed into a deafening crash and roar. That was Mordor and he was in the middle of it. The earth heaved and cracked and down came the roaring of black rain and then, all stopped.
The One Ring had damaged a fundamental part of him, as a farewell gift. He was fading, he knew that from deep into the aches of his bones and to his very being; the burden of the Ring was gone but he was still so tired. His hand was enveloped in Sam's and they lie like this, two black figures on a black rock, surrounded in moving fire. He could feel the heat that flowed down the mountain that crept through the boulder that he sat on with Sam and into his skin. It was comforting; it felt like the sun's warmth from the Shire, gardens and flowers. His pain lifted from him, drained out with his exhaustion, and he wanted to sleep badly.
The Shire. How long has it been since he's seen all that he loved, the green fields, the Bradywine River, the Party Tree, Gandalf's fireworks, the feeling of belonging that originates from one's household. "Home…" absolutely spent, Frodo sighed. Time drained out of him and left him as he sleeps. A burning rock from Mount Doom fell not too far away. The earth crumbled into fire and through it all, he refused to open his eyes; his paradise of all that he had ever wished for was in his mind.
Softly but getting louder: sounds of the flapping of wings, not entirely clear among the quaking earth but distinct, like water in the desert mountains. The beat of pressed air was slow but each time; they were nearer till he could feel a faint breeze on his hot skin. An owl hooted and a familiar voice said, "There they are."
The sounds of moving wind grew closer and closer, a presence above him. The Hobbit had no strength to open his eyes, much less protest when something, a large claw, grasped around his limp body. He began to rise and away from the heat. "Rest Halflings. It's over."
"Master Frodo?" From his side came a hoarse whisper.
"Dear Sam? Harry? I'm here." Frodo whispered back with closed eyes, "I'm here."
Time heals all wounds. Time healed cuts and stabs, nearly fatal injuries and psychological beatings. Time created love and laughter, reunion, hugs, and tears. The darkness in the East had withdrawn and became non-existent, a shadow of its former horrific glory. Minas Tirith glowed like a young woman in the prime of her life, joyful and gay. Animosity was shoved back with reconciliation, hate with love. Time passed and the White City was prepared to welcome back its lost king of Gondor.
The city stood and held their collective breaths at the coronation. The entire world waited on the top level of Minas Tirith, close enough to touch the heavens. In the shade at the top step of the stairs, Harry stood on the left side of the Steward and Gandalf stood at the right as the two Istari that hailed the coming of the King. Hedwig shuffled uncomfortably, off weight due to the cast on her left wing. Arwen attempted to balance the poor bird by settling on her right wing, but it only served as a hilarious sight. Harry consoled both of them with pats on their heads as he surveyed everyone below. Flagships displayed each invited group to this historic ceremony. There were soldiers and common workers and nobles, men and women and children, Dwarves and Elves and Men and Hobbits.
The Ranger of the North known as Strider and Aragorn, knelt at the foot of the Steward with his head bent. His breastplate has been shined, his hair trimmed, his clothes were new; he looked presentable. The Steward stepped into the light. Anticipation rippled through everybody in waves. Before the throne and the audience, wordlessly Faramir presented the gleaming silver crown to the crowd, and gently, slowly, lowered it onto the head of the King of Gondor.
And it's finished. Aragorn looked up as the Steward proclaimed. "Now come the days of the King. May they be blessed." The crowned man looked at Gandalf who nodded back with twinkling eyes and then to Harry who winked in encouragement.
Slowly Aragorn stood and turned, resting his eyes upon all that beheld him honorable, brave, valiant, noble, and majestic. He opened his arms out to embrace his people, "This day does not belong to one day but to all. Let us together rebuild this world that we may share in the days of peace."
The crowd roared.
Two days since he's camped here, Harry Potter looked up at the familiar rumble, not that trees could rumble, Earth rumbles, but trees achieved a whistle mixed with creaking limbs of the joints of an old man. Treading through the Forest of Fanghorn, even if he had been here before, years and years ago, was not an easy feat. Wild undergrowth and giant roots hindered his every step the moment he entered the dark woods. Why did he come again? Oh right, Ouroburos. This is where he had started, cold, helpless, young and naïve… very, very naïve.
These adventures changed him, like initiation rites back at his old world: from a boy to a man. So yes, he was proud of these changes. And after all these years, he wanted to pay tribute to the Forest, maybe find his savior and thank him.
Years and years had passed and he still recognized the living tree, 'Ent' he corrected mentally, which hasn't changed a leaf, twig, or bark since Harry had last seen him. "Hello, Treebeard." Harry stepped back unsurely, "That's your name?"
"Aahhhh. Yes." The Ent stepped to the side past two thick trunks and the ground trembled. Curious, Harry followed. Analyzing his memories, the Istar never realized how slow trees spoke. It was pretty unique and it encouraged him to also draw out his vowels and consonants.
"I want to thank you for everything." He walked side by side the Ent in companionship, hopping over logs and siding around bushes as he kept up with the giant.
"Hrmm." Harry mentally categorized it as an Ent-sound, "You were a stranger to this land, that much clear. But we Ents could hear the wishes of these ancient trees. Powerful little one, you are." Some falling leaves the color of his eyes tangled into his hair, Harry looked around to see if there were more Ents nearby but the forest was too thick and dark. His staff served as a blind man's walking stick, prodding the ground ahead of him lest he tripped. Treebeard intoned, "Eons past, before the elves taught us the spoken language, before my brethren learned to walk, we communicate in sounds. You had the ability to wield it effectively, even, I see, without the instrument."
The Istar leaped onto a log and walked across a small stream, his shoes making squishing sounds in the moss. He asked, "Can you still hear it now?"
"Yes, little one, as long as the music is still in this world, we can rejoice in it."
Normality is such a strange concept to grasp, it's mutable and relative to the original life that one comes from. Did it define boring or the beginning? Once again, he was reminded of the Ouroburos, a snake biting its tale. Fate is a cycle. Normal life returned, at least as normal as he could make it and that was stretching it to considerable lengths. The people of Rowin had walked back to the familiar lake and mountains and there wasn't anything there. Nature managed to swallow most evidence of human life save for the high pile of black, rotting remains of wood: ghosts of humble houses. Normality returned.
Imiram wasn't the same, she could still maintain the household but there were still signs of trauma in her personality. She aged in every physical and nonphysical way. A year ago, she was able to immerse herself in work and now, she needed rest between each chore. She only admitted to the fact when Harry saw her passed out from fatigue, face down in the outdoor makeshift kitchen, and freaked. She wasn't the same, but in reality, nobody in the town was after the war. A quarter of their numbers were gone. But the villagers had come back and they had started from scratch. All was normal.
Rowin restored itself by the hands, labor and toil of its people. And between working and watching over his charges and caring for his familiars, at night, he scrutinized the heavens and imagined happenings in his own realm that held his home but was not home anymore.
Harry had tried his best to continue his duties as an older brother figure to Carin and Atricia by giving those lessons in reading and writing. He was still hopeless with any weapon of steel. The kids were growing up into a fine lady and gent, stronger, independent. They learned the ways of the world and they'll use their abilities to etch niches into the stonework called life. One day, Harry will have to let them go. He'll have to let the family go.
More than two years passed. The rumor is that the Third Age is ending and soon will begin the Age of Man. Today was a rare afternoon where there was no work for him to do around the streets; he stared up at the sky and identified clouds that held a smidgen resemblance to his familiars. He drifted off, dreaming of clouds that looked like Fell Beasts being chased by a giant owl, 'One day, I'll have to let the village go.'
The tall yellow-green grasses tickled his face with their rough surfaces as the wind swayed them. The sun burned his front but the soil cooled his back. He hummed a song from Aragorn's coronation, "Et Eärello Endorenna utúlien. Sinome maruvan ar Hildinyar tenn' Ambar-metta." He wondered what it meant.
A horse neighed and cantered to where he lazed about. A hoof nudged his side till he groaned and cracked his eyes open. A familiar figure dressed in white blocked out the sun that outlined his silhouette. Harry sat up on his elbows and pinched himself. The pain told him that this wasn't a dream. Shadowfax proudly tossed his head. Gandalf said, "It's time, Harry."
Protest and acceptance warred in him for a moment. He knew this was coming; the knowledge had been imparted to him through the grey staff that he kept at his side. Hedwig landed on Harry's shoulder and hooted. He ran a hand through his hair and sighed, "So soon?"
Thus the beginning of another tale that offers more characters, heroes and villains, to come and go. Harry stood behind an aged Hobbit named Bilbo, taking in the scenery of the port called the Grey Havens, the ship he will set upon, and the endless seas that lead to Valinor. It is a sunset, a breathtaking one; the colors of the waters invited him with friendly waves and joyful singing. The old Hobbit was accompanied by Frodo and Sam where they stand before three elves, Elrond, Celeborn, and Galadriel who all dressed in white garbs. They stood tall and noble with grace than man could only envy.
Galadriel spoke first, her features enhanced by her happiness, "The power of the three rings is ended. The time has come for the Dominion of Men."
Elrond whispered, "I Aear can vên na mar," in a comforting low tone that brought a shiver down Harry's back, and opened his arms. Chuckling to himself in happiness and ready for another adventure, Bilbo walked forward and boarded the ship with the dark haired elf's gentle guidance. Celeborn followed. Galadriel smiled knowingly to Frodo before she too, boarded.
Harry stepped forward, albeit reluctantly. He quickly turned around before giving each Hobbit a tearful hug in turn, "I'll miss all of you so much." He murmured into Pippin's hair as he tightly hugged the Hobbit whom he had grown most close to.
Then he let go and with Hedwig on his shoulder and Arwen resting around his neck, he followed Galadriel who waited for him on the steps. With a hand on his back, like a mother he never had, she ushered him on board.
The ship went out into the High Sea and passed on into the West, until at last on a starry night, one smelled a sweet fragrance on the air and heard the sound of singing that came over the water.
"What do you suppose is out there?" Frodo asked, his cheek resting on the cool wood of the boat.
"It is what we all have dreamed of." Harry looked down at the Hobbit and smiled kindly, "The grey rain-curtain turned all to silver glass and rolling back, allowing us to behold the white shores and beyond them, a far green country under a swift sunrise."