Well, here are the last two chapters of Journey to the Two Towers. I'm not sure if I'm going to be able to start the last book in the trilogy before I leave for college. So, if a long time goes by and nothing shows up, that means I couldn't get to it and it have to wait till Christmas break. (My college has restrictions for going on the internet, and I have a feeling that is site will probably fall in the "no go" zone, unfortunately.

By the way, there are two song in this, further down in Chapter 14. It might be a little confusing, so please send me feedback on how I arranged it. That would be a big help in the future!

Chapter 13

They came to the foot of Orthanc, the tower in the center of the Isenguard's ring. It was black, and the rock gleamed as if it was wet. The many faces of the stone had sharp edges as though they had been newly chiseled. A few scorings, and small flake-like splinters near the base were all the marks it bore of the Ents' fury.

On the eastern side, in the angle of two piers, there was a great door, high above the ground, reached by a flight of twenty broad stairs made of the same black stone as the rest of the tower. Over the door was a shuttered window which opened onto an iron-railed balcony. The door was the only entrance although the high walls were littered with many tall window cut deeply into the walls.

At the foot of the stairs, Gandalf and Theoden dismounted. "I will go up," said Gandalf. "I have been in Orthanc before and I know my peril."

"I too will go up," said Theoden. "I am old and, and fear no peril any more. I wish to speak with the enemy who has done me so much wrong. Eomer shall some with me, and see that my aged feet do not falter."

"As you will," said Gandalf. "Aragorn will come with me. Let the others wait for us at the foot of the stairs. They will hear and see enough, if there is anything to hear or see."

"Nay." said Gimli. "Legolas and I wish for a closer view. We alone here represent our kindreds. We also will come behind."

Gandalf then turned to Aurora. "What about you?" he asked. "Many would say that you of all people have indeed been wronged by Saruman. It was his Uruk-kai that shot you."

Aurora sat silent and thoughtful for a minute. Then she raised her eyes. "No, I have not been wronged by Saruman." She answered. Everyone looked at her in surprise. "He did not order those orcs to kill me. I stepped in the arrow's path of my own free will. That was my choice. However, I will go up on the hobbits' behalf; I'm sure that they would prefer to remain down here." she said, smiling at them. Merry and Pippin nodded vigorously.

"If Aurora will not go on her own behalf, I will." said Boromir.

"Come then!" said Gandalf, and with that he climbed the steps, and Theoden went beside him.

The Riders of Rohan sat uneasily on their horses, on either side of the stair. They looked up darkly at the tower, fearing what might befall their lord. Merry and Pippin sat on the lowest step, feeling unimportant and unsafe.

"Half a sticky mile from the gate!" muttered Pippin. I wish I could slip off to the guardroom unnoticed! What did we come for? We are not wanted."

Gandalf stood in front of the door of Orthanc and beat on it with his staff. It rang with a hollow sound. "Saruman, Saruman!" he cried with a loud commanding voice. "Saruman, come forth!"

For a time there was no answer. At last, the window above the door was opened, but no one could be seen at its dark opening. "Who is it?" said a voice. "What do you wish?"

Theoden started. "I know that voice," he said, "and I curse the day when I first listened to it."

"Go and fetch Saruman, since you have become his footman, Grima Wormtongue!" said Gandalf. "And do not waste our time!"

The window closed, and they waited. Aurora, who was nervous, slipped her hand in Boromir's. He smiled at her and gave her hand a reassuring squeeze. Suddenly, another voice spoke, low and melodious, its very sound an enchantment. Many who heard it fell under its spell; everything it said seemed wise and reasonable. Few remembered what was said, but all remember delight in simply hearing the voice and a desire to also appear wise awoke in them. None could resist the voices whispers and urgings without a great effort of mind and will.

"Well?" is said now with gentle question. "Why must you disturb my rest? Will you give me no peace at all by night or day?" Its tone was that of one who was aggrieved by injuries undeserved.

They looked up astonished, for they did not hear any sound of Saruman's coming. They saw an old man, standing at the rail looking down upon them, swathed in a great cloak, the color of which was not easy to tell, for it changed if they moved their eyes or if he stirred. His face was long, and he had deep darkling eyes, hard to fathom. The look that they now bore was grave and benevolent, and a little weary. His long hair and beard was white, but strands of black still showed about his lips and ears.

"Like, and yet unlike." muttered Gimli.

"But come now," said the soft voice. "Two at least of you I know by name. Gandalf I know too well to have much hope that seeks help or counsel here. But you Theoden Lord of the Mark of Rohan, are declared by your noble devices and the fair countenance of the House of Eorl." Then, he noticed Aurora, who was still standing hand-in-hand with Boromir. "Ah, who is this?" he asked

"I am Aurora." she answered his question.

"Then you are the one the Uruk-kai attacked? I was striken with grief when I was told of your fall. My sincerest apologies, my lady." He gave her a slight bow, which she returned with a deep nod.

"I do not blame you or the Uruks for that day, Saruman." Aurora said.

"You are wise beyond your years, my dear. Why does a fair young lady such as you stay among such rough and uncouth people?" he asked in a charming tone.

"Don't try your honeyed words on me!" Aurora replied. "I know you and your kind better than you think."

"You do me injury, my lady, to think that I would try to manipulate you." Saruman answered in an injured tone.

"And what of the injury done to the hobbits by your Uruks?" Aurora asked. "Merry and Pippin are my friends. It is for their sakes that I am here, make no mistake, sir!" Boromir look at her with pride for withstanding Saruman's tricks.

Seeing that he was fighting a losing battle, Saruman turned his attention to Theoden. "O worthy son of Thengel the Thrice-renowned! Why have you not come before, and as a friend?" Saruman proceded to try to get Theoden to join in an alliance with him. Theoden looked from Gandalf to Saruman, seeming to hesitate. "What have you to say, Theoden King? Will there be peace between us?" urged Saruman. Still Theoden did not answer. Eomer spoke.

"Lord, hear me!" he said. "Now we feel the peril that we were warned of. Have we ridden forth to victory, only to stand at last amazed by an old lair and his forked tongue? So would the trapped wolf speak to the hounds, if he could. All he wishes is to escape his plight. Remember Theodred at the Fords, and the grave of Hama in Helm's Deep!"

Last Theoden spoke, soft at first then stronger. "We will have peace. Yes, we will have peace when you and all your evil works are destroyed, and the works of your dark master to whom you would deliver us. You are a liar and a corruptor of men's hearts."

Saruman grew angry, then he slowly mastered himself. He called to Gandalf to join him in the tower. He promised wise counsel, in spite of their last encounter. Saruman spoke many fair words, and this was the last effort of his power. None who heard it were unmoved. Gandalf and Saruman were great lords of wisdom; there was no doubt that Gandalf would go up with Saruman.

Then, Gandalf laughed, the sound banishing the fantasy from their minds. "Saruman, Saruman! You missed your path in life. You should have been the king's jester and earned your bread, and stripes too, by mimicking his counselors. Ah, me!" he sighed, getting the better of his mirth. "Nay, I do not think I will come up. But listen, Saruman, for the last time! Will you not come down? Isenguard was proved less strong than your hope and fancy made it. Will you not come down, and turn to new things?"

For a minute, Saruman's face was a mask of doubt and anguish. Clearly he wanted to leave, but dreaded doing so. Finally, he looked up, his face hard and cold. He refused to come down to Gandalf. In great wrath he turned to enter the tower once more, but Gandalf commanded he stay. To everyone's astonishment, Saruman slowly turned back to Gandalf.

"I did not give you leave to go." said Gandalf sternly. He then raised his hand and spoke in a clear, cold voice. "Saruman, your staff is broken." There was a crack, and the black staff Saruman had been holding broke in his hand and the head of it fell at Gandalf's feet. "Go!" said Gandalf. Saruman fell back with a cry, and crawled away.

Just then, a heavy, shining orb came flying out the window. It hit and bounced off the iron rail and, passing very close to Gandalf's head, landed on the step he stood on. The railing rang and broke, and the stair was cracked and splintered. However, the sphere was inharmed, and it rolled down the steps. It fell into a pool and Pippin went after it. "Here my lad, I'll take that!" Gandalf said as Pippin came up the steps carrying the heavy ball. He quickly took the dark orb from the young hobbit and wrapped it in his cloak.

Now, they returned to the gate, and found Treebeard and two other Ents waiting for them.

"Young Master Gandalf!" Treebeard greeted.

Gandalf smiled up at the Ent and introduced him to the others. Treebeard seemed particularly thrilled to meet Aurora.

"The hobbits told me much of you, little one." the Ent croaked in his gravelly voice.

"Only good things, I hope!" she laughed as she accepted the hand he offered her. Then the old Ent turned to Gandalf once more.

"The filth of Saruman is washing away. Now young new trees will come and grow tall and strong here." he said.

"Saruman must stay here, under your guard, Treebeard." Gandalf replied. The Ent nodded and promised to not let him escape.

With that, they all returned to Helm's Deep and the victory celebration that awaited them there that night.

Chapter 14

That evening, in the inner halls of Helm's Deep, there was a great celebration in honor of their victory and the men who died for it. All they were waiting for was the arrival of Lady Eowen and Aurora. Aragorn, Gimli, Legolas, and Eomer smirked at the noticeable impatience of Boromir. He could hardly wait to see Aurora. He had overheard her and Eowen talking about what Aurora was to wear, since she had no gown of her own.

Suddenly, Boromir felt a small, soft hand slide into his. He turned and gasped. Aurora had come up behind him, the sound of her light footsteps covered by the party around them. She was wearing a floor-length gown of deep red, with full sleeves and a high collar. It had once been Eowen's but with a few alterations, it fit Aurora perfectly. The Elvin leaf shone at her throat, and the hair around her face had been twisted back and away, secured at the back of her head. Only a few curly tendrils fell out to surround her face. Boromir had never seen her look more beautiful than she did then.

Eomer look upon her wistfully with a smile. "Now I know why Boromir is so smitten." He turned to Gondorian. "She is lovely, my friend. I would keep her close if I were you." he said with a wink. He bowed to Aurora, and went to find his sister and uncle. Aurora blushed brightly at Eomer's words, knowing what he meant. Boromir might just have a little competition for her affections.

Aragorn smiled at Aurora's blush. "You do look lovely tonight." He told her. She ducked her head in modesty, not really wanting all the attention they were giving her.

Gimli laughed. "Aye, he's right. There may well be a few broken hearts on your account by the night's end." He smiled and turned to go.

"Master Gimli!" she replied.

It was now Legolas's turned to laugh. "He is just teasing you, Sister." He said in Elvish. He took her hand a kissed it jokingly before following Gimli into the crowd.

"Those two!" Aurora sighed. "They're nearly as bad as Merry and Pippin sometimes." Boromir smiled as he slipped his arm around her waist.

"Who's almost as bad as us?" two voices piped up from behind. Boromir and Aurora turned to face the hobbits. "Oh, Rory!" they cried. "You look like a princess!"

Just then, Theoden entered, and after a toast in honor of the fallen warriors, the celebration soon got into full swing. Someone called for a dance, and the musicians in the corner struck up a lively tune that remind Aurora of an Irish jig or reel. Boromir immediately asked her to dance with him, and in spite of her protests of not knowing the dance, he pulled her out onto the dance floor. After a dance or two with various members of the Rohirrim, Aurora was asked to show them dances from her homeland. The only dances she really knew were the waltz from the movie Harvey Girls and the polka from The King and I. She had watched the movies so much that she had learned the two dances perfectly. She asked the musicians to play a tune and decided that the polka would best fit the music. After explaining how it was done, she got Pippin who was not afraid to try the new dance to help her demonstrate it to the others. They stumbled for a bit, then, as they found the correct rhythm, they whirled smoothly around the hall. Other dancers joined them, including Eomer and Eowen. By the end, Aurora was breathless with exertion and laughter. She and Pippin plopped themselves down on a bench while the musician struck up the tune to another Rohirrim dance.

Then, they all asked for Aurora to show them the waltz, which was tricky, as none of the music had the right timing. It took a bit of tweaking, but musicians finally came up with something with right rhythm. Aurora looked to see who she should ask for her new partner. Aragorn and Legolas had not danced all night. She thought about Aragorn, but decided that it would embarrass Legolas more if she asked him.

She walked over with a smile. He immediately saw what was coming. Aurora caught hold of his wrist as he tried unsuccessfully to hide behind Aragorn. Aragorn just laughed and lightly shoved Legolas toward the dance floor. The Elf threw the Ranger a dark look as Aurora led him to the center of the dance floor and showed him how to hold her as Pippin had with the polka. Merry, Pippin, and Gimli were about to roll in the floor laughing at the Elf's discomfort.

"Only for you would I do this." He sighed in her ear. Amazingly though, he caught on quickly and he was soon whirling the girl gracefully around the room. By the end, Aurora had managed to coax a smile from her reluctant partner.

"See, that didn't kill you, did it?" she asked teasingly in Elvish.

"No," he replied, "but the dwarf's teasing about this might." Indeed, Gimli was still chuckling when they joined the others. The dwarf opened his mouth to say something, but Aurora beat him to it. "If you tease Legolas about dancing with me, you can be sure that you will be my partner, Master Gimli, and I won't be defending you from Legolas's teasing at all." The dwarf immediately shut his mouth on the subject and did not mention it for the rest of the night.

After the main dinner and some minstrel songs and ballads, the floor was cleared for dancing again. It seemed that the people of Rohan really like the new dances that Aurora taught them. As the musicians prepared for the polka again, Aurora went to Aragorn. She had seen Eowen watching him and could tell she was infatuated with him. "You haven't dance all night Aragorn, why don't you ask Lady Eowen. I'm sure she would love too." Aurora urged. Aragorn simply shook his head. "Well, if you won't dance with her, then you'll just have to dance with me!" she said. "Unless Gandalf would rather like to." She looked past Aragorn to the wizard.

Gandalf laughed. "Oh, no. You two go ahead." he politely rejected her offer. Aragorn shook his head at the smiling young woman before him. With a sigh, he offered her his arm and led her to the dance. As they whirled around the room, they saw Merry and Pippin dancing with two of the Rohirrim's young daughters and even Theoden trying to dance with his laughing niece. Despite his reluctance, Aragorn turned out to be a good dancer too. However, unlike Legolas, he was soon enjoying himself and smiling at his mischievous little partner. Then, there was one last waltz. Aurora immediately sought Boromir, who willingly followed her to the dance floor. Having seen it done once before, he was able to guide her smoothly across the room.

All too soon it was over, or at least that was what Aurora thought. She and Boromir had whirled around the floor in perfect harmony. She loved the way it felt for him to hold her as they danced.

Just then, a song was called for, and Merry and Pippin immediately jumped on top of a table and burst in a song from the Shire, doing a jig as they did so. Gandalf just chuckled as Aragorn, who was standing beside him, shook his head with a smile. Everyone clapped and cheered at the end. Then, the hobbits begged Aurora to sing. At first she declined, but when Legolas and Aragorn asked her too, she could hardly refuse. They had danced with her when she asked. Merry and Pippin insisted that she stand on their table and they pulled her up beside them.

For a minute, she stood there with her head bowed, thinking, trying to remember an appropriate song. Then she recalled one on one of her Celtic CDs. "Ireland's Call". It spoke of fighting for one's country. She decided that it was perfect for the victory feast. The room went quiet as she took a deep breath. She started softly but her voice grew louder and clearer as she raised her head.

Side by side, we stand like brothers,

All for one and all together.

We will stay united through darker days,

And we'll be unbeatable forever.

Chorus:

Ireland, Ireland, together standing tall.

Shoulder to shoulder,

We'll answer Ireland's call!

Second verse:

Come what may and come the hour,

Some will live in song and story.

We were born to follow our guiding star.

We'll meet our destiny will glory.

Chorus again:

Ireland, Ireland, together standing tall.

Shoulder to shoulder,

We'll answer Ireland's call!

Third verse:

Hearts of steel and heads unbowing,

Vowing never to be broken.

We will fight until we can fight no more,

And our final requiem is spoken.

Last chorus:

Ireland, Ireland, together standing tall.

Shoulder to shoulder,

We'll answer Ireland's call!

We'll answer Ireland's call!

The room was completely still as the last note died away. In spite of the fact that it spoke of a land unknown to them, the song said everything they felt in their hearts, especially the last stanza and chorus. Theoden came forward with an astonished look on his face.

"Never before has a maiden sang such a song in my hall," He began. "and hardly a so appropriate a song been sung at a victory feast. If the name of the country was switched, that would be a song worthy of being a national song of the Rhohirrim." He smiled. "Where did you learn it?"

"Back home. It is a song from the country my ancestors came from." She replied.

"Ireland?"

"Aye," she answered in a perfect Irish accent. "Ireland, the Emerald Isle." She then switched to a Scottish accent. "My ancestors also came from a country not far away called Scotland. If you wish, I can sing a few Scottish songs as well."

"Please do." came the reply from all around. This time she chose a sweet ballad about Scotland itself. It was an old song called "Loch Lomond".

She opened her mouth and sang once more, using her Scottish accent and captivating her audience with her sweet voice.

By yon bonnie banks, and by yon bonnie braes,

Where the sun shines bright on Loch Lomond,

Where me and my true love were ever want to gae,

On the bonnie, bonnie banks of Loch Lomond.

Chorus:

Oh, ye'll tak' the high-road and I'll tak' the low-road,

And I'll be in Scotland afore ye;

But me and my true love will never meet again

On the bonnie, bonnie banks of Loch Lomond.

Second Verse:

'Twas there that we parted in yon shady glen,

On the steep, steep side of Ben Lomond,

Where in soft, purple hue the Highland hills we view,

And the moon coming out in the gloaming.

(chorus again here)

Third verse:

The wee bird may sing and the wild flowers spring,

And in sunshine the waters be sleeping;

But the broken heart, it kens nae second spring again,

Tho' the waeful may cease from their greeting.

Chorus:

Oh, ye'll tak' the high-road and I'll tak' the low-road,

And I'll be in Scotand afore ye;

But me and my true love will never meet again

On the bonnie, bonnie banks of Loch Lomond.

Silence meet the end of her song once more. Then, Gandalf began clapping, and to Aurora's astonishment, there were tears in his eyes. She shyly got down from the table top amid cheers requests for more songs. She politely refused and went to Gandalf.

"Are you alright?" she asked, concerned.

"Oh yes," he answered, slipping an arm around her shoulders. "That was beautiful, dear." Aurora suddenly remembered that Gandalf had never really heard her sing before.

"Thank you." She whispered with a smile

"He's right." said Boromir as he and Aragorn came over. "What is a 'loch'?" he asked.

"It's the Scottish word for a lake." She answered.

"And 'bonnie'?"

"It means 'pretty'." Just then the others found them.

"Your songs were lovely." said Legolas. "Did I not tell you all that she could sing?"

"Aye," said Gimli. "you said she could sing, but you didn't say she could sing like that!"

"Oh, stop it, guys!" begged Aurora, her face turning red at their praise. With teasing smiles, Legolas and Gimli returned to a game they had been playing before she had started singing.

It was getting late; it was probably already early morning, and Aurora eyes were beginning to get heavy. She leaned her head sleepily on Boromir's shoulder and yawned. Gandalf smiled down at her. "I think one "bonnie" lass is ready to slip off to her quarters." Aurora looked up and nodded slowly. Giving everyone a hug good-night, even Legolas and Gimli who were slightly embarrassed by her hugging them in public, and giving Boromir a kiss on the cheek, she followed Eowen to where she was quartered near her friends.

She sleepily removed her gown and put on the nightgown offered to her by Eowen. She tried to give the red dress back, but Eowen told her to keep it. It was an old dress that she hardly wore and Aurora look much better in it Eowen told her. Aurora was too sleepy to argue, so she laid it out neatly cross the empty trunk at the end of her bed. Then she brushed out her hair, climbed into bed, and pulled the covers up to her chin.

Dreamily, she relived the events of the evening in her mind. Teaching everyone the polka and waltz, singing in front of all of the people of Rohan; she couldn't remember the last time she had done something like that in front of so many people. She was usually very shy. She also couldn't remember when she had had more fun than she had that night. She fell asleep dreaming about singing Celtic folksongs and dancing with Boromir. However, her sweet dreams did not last long.

Dialect Translations:

gae - go

Ben - mountain (?)

kens - wants (?)

nae - no

waeful - woeful

frae - from

Unfortunately, I'm not sure what "gloaming" means; if I find out, I'll tell you.

Well, there it is. Journy to the Two Towers is complete! I hope ya'll like it as much I like writing it! Keep your eyes peeled for the third and final book, Journey with the Returning King!

I send special thanks to my faithful readers (and reviewers) Zoa-lii, Hopefeather, Shadowsammy, Nightmareblade and Nightmaremistress, Ashen Knight, and Disney-Princess-in-Disguise. Thanks to all who read, but did not reveiw as well!

Ya'll have all made my last summer before my first year at college one of the best ever! :) Thanks a million! -Bonnie Celt