Author's Note: This is the first story I'm putting on here... It's basically me and my sister getting thrown into Middle Earth but I'm changing a few things. :) I'm not so good with describing things, but I hope to get better :) I welcome criticism, but please don't be too harsh, I'm still quite young ^.^
I do not own Lord of the Rings.
Rae Matthews never thought of herself as a selfish girl. Impatient, yes. Friendly, yes. Naïve, yes. But selfish? No. She barely ever asked anyone to do things for her; she was a DIY type of girl. So, you can understand that she was shocked when her sister drove up in the family Corsa, complaining, whinging and whining about having to be at her sisters beck and call.
Amelia Matthews was a bossy girl who preferred having things her way. She thought highly of herself but did not boast her inner thoughts. She was two years older than Rae, who was fifteen, and was in her last year of school. She'd already gotten her driver's license but did not like being summoned to drive the younger sibling home.
The sky was greying, threatening to crack open and unleash its wrath. As soon as the silver car pulled up across the street, the first raindrop fell. As Rae sprinted across to the car, it was pouring. She only had to be out in it for a few seconds before she felt the water soaking her clothes. As she slid in the car, Amelia scowled at her. Rae gave a sheepish grin.
"Do you have any idea what you've done to my schedule?" Amelia snapped, starting the car.
"Uh… You were busy I take it?" Rae questioned, noting the angry tone in her sister's voice.
"Busy is an understatement. My English exam is tomorrow, Rae. Tomorrow. You know I need to pass this year!"
Amelia continued to whine at Rae as they pulled out of the street. Rae tried to avoid opening her mouth and inserting her foot, but Amelia was really pushing it.
"Amelia," Rae said, stopping her mid-rant. "You've been studying for three days straight. You need a break."
"No," Amelia argued. "Non-stop study is the way forward. I have to remember everything."
"But studying is made up of two words: student and dying. Student dying. You're killing yourself."
"You won't be saying that when you end up in jail and I'm in a top job."
"Nah, I'll just call you to bail me out," Rae laughed.
"You know I'd leave you there to rot," Amelia pointed out.
The two of them laughed together, Amelia's anger far in the past. Rae fiddled with a loose thread on her skinny jeans, gazing in the rear view mirror at her reflection. She had plans with her friends as soon as she got home, so dug her eyeliner out of her bag and began applying it darkly. Amelia glanced over and groaned.
"Must you do that here? In my car?" She complained.
"Yes, I must. And it's not your car," Rae retorted. She applied mascara and laid back, pulling the loose thread from her jeans. She pulled her straight hair from the bobble and sorted her parting.
"I can't believe that you like that kind of clothes," Amelia scoffed.
"There's nothing wrong with my clothes," Rae told Amelia, rolling her eyes. How many times had they had this conversation?
"It's bad enough that you went and died your hair black."
"It's not black. It's blue-black. There's a difference," Rae explained, fingering one of her shoulder-length locks. "It's better than the mess on your head."
"Hey. A bob doesn't need much work. I don't spend hours on end getting ready to go out for ten minutes," Amelia snorted, checking her reflection in the mirror.
Rae and Amelia were compete opposites to each other. Rae tended to wear dark make-up to hide her hazel eyes, one of her least favourite features, and loved keeping her hair straight and long. Amelia tended to avoid make up unless they were going somewhere special, and kept her caramel hair in a short, clipped bob. She did not see why it was necessary to spend a long time getting oneself ready for a trip to the supermarket.
The rain began to fall heavier on the car. The windshield wipers were batting back and forth furiously but the rain seemed to be never ending, getting heavier and heavier by the second. Rae had a worried expression on her face as she watched her sister battle the weather in the small Corsa.
"Amelia," Rae said. "Maybe we should stop."
"No," Amelia replied. "We'll be fine. We're about ten minutes away from home."
"Ames, I know I need to get back quick and stuff but it's not safe to be driving in this weather."
"You're the one who asked me to pick you up," Amelia argued, "so we'll keep going."
"Ames, you're being stubborn now. Pull over!"
"No! The rain will let off soon."
Rae was quiet, keeping her eyes on the road. An extra set of eyes wouldn't do any damage. The rain was coming down so heavy that they could barely see a few metres a head of them. Rae decided to try and break her sister again. Another try couldn't hurt.
"Amelia," she tried. "If you don't want to stop, at least slow down. I'm not in a hurry."
"Well, I am," Amelia said.
"What? You're in a hurry? What for? English? You need a break."
"Would you stop it with the jokes?" Amelia snapped, looking away from the road for a second.
"Keep your eyes on the road," Rae told her, looking away. "And slow down. You're going to get us killed."
"Your lack of faith in me is hurtful."
Rae sighed but kept her focus on the outside. She didn't want anything jumping out at them without Amelia noticing. Rae watched her older sister out of the corner of her eyes, trying to find the right way to phrase her demand.
"Amelia," she sighed. "Can't we just stop?"
"No," Amelia snapped. "You want to get back to your emo friends, don't you?"
"Don't call them emo-"
"Would you rather I called you 'suicidal'?"
"I'm NOT suicidal either."
"Oh, right, sure you're not. Your favourite colour is black, you wear a lot of black, you have heavy black eyeliner-"
"That's so stereotypical, Amelia," Rae said, her anger building. "What are you going to say next? I slit my wrists too? Because I don't."
"I wouldn't be surprised if you did," Amelia replied, looking out at the road.
Rae clenched her hands into fists in her lap. Amelia smirked, as if she'd just won a major victory. Rae turned to look at her, a frown on her face.
"Why are you so selfish? No, why are you so immature?" She yelled. "You're supposed to be seventeen, yet you act like a five year old!"
"I am mature," Amelia said, struggling to keep her voice calm. "You just need to sort yourself out. Do you think you're 'friends' will stick around if - no, when - you DO start slitting your wrists?"
"Amelia, I'm not going to! Can't you get that into your thick skull? God, I hate you!"
Amelia's eyes widened and she took her eyes off the road. She turned in her seat to face Rae, clearly angry and about to say something to the younger sibling. Before she got the chance, the silver Corsa swerved violently.
"Amelia, the road!" Rae screamed.
Amelia struggled to control the car as it veered madly out of control. It flipped once, twice, three times before coming to a halt in a ditch at the side of the road. The rain continued to fall, pelting the car mercilessly. There was no movement from the car.
The ground was the first thing that Rae felt. She was expecting to be upside down in the car, or on the road a little ways away. But, no, she was on something soft and wet. She struggled to open her eyes and sit up. As she did so, there was a slight pain in her back, probably from landing so hard. She tried to listen for the road and other cars; maybe Amelia was trying to get one to stop.
Rae's heart stopped. Where was Amelia? She stood, quicker than she should of, and swayed before making her way in a random direction. The air around her was clean, the sky a brilliant cerulean. There was white clouds dotted in various places, the sun shining brightly in the sky. Fighting to keep her balance, Rae leaned against a nearby tree, revelling in how old it looked; one hundred, two hundred years?
She breathed out a sigh of disbelief and looked upwards. To say the tree was tall would be an understatement. It must have been at least fifty, sixty feet tall, if not taller. Rae shook her thoughts away from the trees and focussed on Amelia. She had to be around here somewhere.
About half an hour later, Rae had had no luck. She couldn't even find the road! Confused, she gripped her hair in frustration, grumbling and muttering to herself about the impossibility of her winding up so far away from the road. The road to their home had never been so close to a forest that large anyway! She stomped her feet and sat on the grass again, shedding her hoody. She sat on it to avoid getting a damp backside and lay down, looking at the clouds.
Rae's eyes focussed on a single cloud, watching as it passed by her and disappeared from her line of vision. She wanted to find Amelia, but was so impossibly lost. She was still confused about how she had wound up so far into the forest. She sat up and pulled at her hair again, trying to come up with a plan. A strange sound made her look up, straight into an arrowhead. Rae swallowed and looked past it, holding back a gasp.
There was man holding the bow and arrow at her face, keeping it from killing her. She shrunk back slightly, biting her lip. He was absolutely stunning. Blond hair running past his shoulder and down his back with many intricate braids in it. He was wearing a blue tunic, running to mid thigh, and brown trousers. Rae didn't dare look away from him in case he decided to kill her then and there.
His sapphire eyes regarded her with curiosity before he spoke, his voice gentle.
"Mani naa essa en lle?" He asked, looking at her suspiciously. Rae slid back slightly, fidgeting with her hands. He repeated the question and she looked up at him helplessly.
"I can't understand you," she whispered, looking away.
"You speak the common tongue?" He said, surprising her. Rae nodded, unsure.
He pulled his arrow out of her face and placed it back into the quiver on his back, along with the bow. He stepped away from her slightly and gazed at her, like he was inspecting her. After a few moments, he spoke again.
"It is unusual for an elf to speak the common tongue and not Elvish," he said, suspicious again. Rae's eyes widened and she stood, slowly.
"I'm not an elf," she told him, picking up her hoody. When she glanced back at him, he had raised an eyebrow in a perfectly shaped arc, a smirk on his lips.
"Your ears say otherwise," he told her, pointing to his own and then to hers.
Cautiously, Rae raised her right hand to the side of her head. Never looking away from the man - no, elf - in front of her, she felt the edges. Instead of rounding like a regular humans would, they were shaped to a point. Rae gasped under her breath and muttered to herself of how impossible all this was. She hadn't felt any different; if she really were an elf, wouldn't she at least feel a little different? Shouldn't her hearing of been better, and her sight?
The elf only laughed when she expressed these thoughts, telling her that she would probably need to hone these skills. Rae was prepared to believe this was all a joke. She was prepared to begin blindly accusing him of helping her friends, or her family, into tricking her. But she stopped herself. Her ears seemed genuine enough - a sharp tug on one of them was enough to prove that - and she would have found the road by now if they were in the forest in her town (she knew that forest well as she used to spend a lot of time with her friends in there).
The elf stayed quiet, watching her peculiarly. He reached a hand forward to her and she gazed at it, stepping back.
"My Lady, I promise I will not harm you," he told her, keeping his hand outstretched to her. She shook her head and looked away.
"It's not that," she sighed. "I mean, yes, I've only just met you and - no offence - I don't trust you very much but I have to find my sister."
"There's two of you?" The elf questioned. Rae nodded, looking around her.
"There was an… accident," she explained. "I can't find her."
"My Lady, maybe you should come back to Mirkwood with me. One of the other patrols may have found her and taken her back?"
"'Mirkwood'? What is that?"
The elf looked at her, disbelief etched onto his perfect features. He could not believe that the young she-elf in front of him had never heard of Mirkwood.
"Mirkwood," he began to explain, "is my home; the home of the Woodland Elves. You are in the forest on the outskirts."
"Oh," Rae's mouth formed a perfect 'o'. "I suppose it would help if Amelia was actually there… I just hope she's okay." She glanced up at the elf who extended his hand towards her again.
Gingerly, Rae took it and allowed herself to be pulled along in the right direction. She realised she didn't even know his name and plucked up the courage to make some form of conversation with him.
"Who are you?" She asked, picking the blunt approach. He looked down at her, smiling. It was this moment that she chose to notice the difference in height between them. He was a good few inches taller than her 5'4" anyway.
"I am Legolas, son of Thranduil," he told her. She nodded and took the initiative to reply with her own.
"Rae Matthews," she said, not even thinking about the difference in their names.
"It's a pleasure to meet you, Rae, daughter of Matthews."
Rae smiled at him, laughing on the inside. Her thoughts wandered to Amelia for a moment but she told herself that she would be with Legolas' people. She was confident that that was the case. And so, she allowed herself to be led through the forest towards Mirkwood, the land of the Wood Elves.
Meanwhile, on the outskirts of a small town named Bree, Amelia was hiding behind a tree, soaked by the rain. She had long figured out that she "was not in Kansas anymore" as she had muttered to herself, and she realised that had she been in any town near to her home, she would have at least seen a car or bus or something! She had watched a few people before her go to the gate at the town and knock before someone answered and let them in.
Humiliated enough from the rain and her soaked clothes, she made her way over, knocking three times. An old man answered and sneered at her through a small hole in the gate. His cloak was drenched right through, his beard ratty and dripping water.
"What is it?" He snapped, "Wha' do ya want?"
"Uh… I want to come in," Amelia said, for lack of a better way to ask from entry. He gazed through the opening before closing it.
Amelia, shocked and angry, knocked again. He answered again before noticing it was her and closing it in her face again. Amelia, now growing flustered, banged on it. As expected, he answered.
"Go away," he told her, closing it again. She hammered her fist on the gate again but he would not answer for her this time. Just as she was about to give up, a man approached. She looked at him, hugging her arms to herself as the cold rain pelted her body.
He was clad in a black cloak, the hood hiding his face. He looked to have a strong build and Amelia noticed a sword hidden under the cloak, a bow and quiver of arrows hidden underneath it as well, she guessed. He glanced at her then proceeded to knock on the gate. The keeper did not answer, probably thinking that it was Amelia again. She sighed and was about to tell the man it was no use, when he knocked again and the keeper answered.
The keeper looked at Aragorn before glaring at Amelia. She glared back as the man beside her spoke.
"She's with me," he said, voice clear and strong. The keeper raised an eyebrow, obviously unbelieving. Amelia was about to walk away when the man spoke again.
"I asked her to go forward and tell you I was coming," he explained, pressing the man to let them in.
"Have you seen the way she's dressed," the keeper complained. "Why should I let her in?"
"Because she's with me."
The keeper grumbled but opened the gate for them nonetheless. Amelia stuck to the man who had helped her gain entry and followed him towards an inn named 'The Prancing Pony'. However, before they could enter, he stopped and rounded on her.
"I helped you gain entry," he said, voice low, "so you can now go your own way."
"I am going my own way," Amelia said, trying to convince him. "I was coming here."
He didn't seem to believe her as he walked into the inn. Before Amelia could follow him, a man shoved past her. He was large, probably covered in muscles, and seemed to have a certain objective in mind. She didn't get a good look at his face but she followed him in anyway. As the door closed behind her, she noticed the man who had helped her into the small village talking to the man who had shoved past her.
She edged over to them, unsure of what they were saying to each other. She couldn't get close enough to them without attracting attention to herself. The man who had helped her into the village began walking away and Amelia let out a sigh of relief. For a moment there, she thought a fight was going to break out.
Then, as she was about to turn away and find some help, she noticed a glint of something underneath the mans cloak. He withdrew it silently, and began to walk behind the man who had helped Amelia.
"Look out!" Amelia yelled, drawing every person in the bar's attention to the two men. The man who had helped her withdrew his own sword and the two met with a deafening clash.
Amelia bit her lip in anticipation. Surely they wouldn't go as far as to kill each other? Luckily, the bar tender leapt up.
"Put those things away," he shouted to them. They both looked at him before complying. They went their different ways and the man who had originally helped Amelia came over to her. He grabbed her arm and dragged her to a table.
She sat across from him and gazed at him, eyebrow raised. He lit his pipe and lowered his hood slightly so she could see his face. He had a small beard but he was one of those men that it suited. His brown hair was wavy and ran to his shoulders. His hazel eyes stared at her in interest before he spoke.
"I am Strider," he said, voice low. Amelia looked back at him, before she smiled lightly.
"Amelia," she said, her voice equally as low.
"I am in your debt, Lady Amelia. You helped me back there."
"Oh, it was nothing, really. Although…"
Amelia paused, thinking. She knew a way he could repay her. If she was going to be stuck by herself for a while, she'd need to know how to handle a weapon of some sort. A plan arose in her head; have Strider teach her how to use a weapon then have him help her find Rae. The plan was perfect!
"I know how you can repay your debt," she said at last. Strider sat up a little taller in his chair, a silent motion for her to go on. "Teach me how to use a sword. Teach me how to battle."
"That is something I cannot do," he told her, shaking his head.
"Of course you can," Amelia replied, smiling. "You seem to have skill with a blade and I just need to know the basics so I can find my sister."
"Just the basics?"
"Okay, I have the first lesson for you. Swing the pointy end at your opponent."
Amelia gave him a look that said 'I'm not amused'. He shook his head and gazed out the window.
"Training you will not be as simple as you are making it out to be," he told her, turning to look at her again.
"Why? Because I'm a girl?" Amelia asked, slightly angry.
"No. Well, yes. You're fragile."
"I'm agile too. Trust me, there would be benefits if you taught me." She paused. Then added, "Please?"
Strider gazed at her, having a silent battle with himself. He had to admit, she had talent. Well, she could detect a sword anyway. She was medium build, could probably manage to fight of a few orcs with the right amount of training… he was really taking this seriously.
"Alright," he sighed. "I will train you."
Amelia grinned at him as he leaned back in his chair, taking a particularly long drag from his pipe.
"Mani naa essa en lle?" - What is your name?