Draugheru (formerly Timothy McGee) swung his feet off of his bed and stretched. He grinned as he strode over to the wardrobe and pulled out something to wear. Being an elf made sleeping a whole lot easier. No nightmares, and he could dream what he wanted. The only weird part was that elves sleep with their eyes open without blinking.
The elf glanced back around the room. The only sign that the former geek lived there was the amount of books and writing there was. Too bad I don't own The Lord of the Rings back in D.C, he thought ruefully, I could easily publish all of these short stories. Maybe I could ask if I ever get back?
Strangely, though it had been five months and ten days, he now thought of Imladris as home. It was fairly chaotic at times, though. On any given day, he could be sent out on a mission or the recipient of some pranks. Luckily, though, throughout the course of his stay, Estel, the foster son of Lord Elrond, helped him out. He could now pull off pranks on the surprisingly immature twins. Though, to be fair, they were only immature when there wasn't something that needed maturity, like when on a mission or when guests arrived.
Draugheru finished braiding his hair and tossed his hair over his shoulder.
"Come on, Guardian," he called as he opened the door to his room.
The wolf formerly named Jethro jumped off of the bed and padded to his master. It had not taken long before Draugheru had realized that Jethro was an odd name for someone to name a wolf when they had not been in contact with society for years. He had toyed with Storm for a while, but Guardian was the name that had stuck.
Draugheru strode through the corridors of the palace confidently, relieved that Elladan and Elrohir were on a mission and therefore unable to prank him. He had spent only one month learning to speak and read elvish, training with weapons, and learning general history and customs before they started sending him on missions. Now he was much more experienced and able to hold his own in a sparring match, though he was more suited to study in the library or his room than go out and fight, but being an elf had made it easier for him to learn to fight.
He sat down and started enjoying his breakfast. He tossed some food occasionally down for Guardian. It did not take long before he was interrupted.
The elf looked up with a raised eyebrow. "Yes, Estel?"
"How are you this fine and lovely day?" The man asked with a wide grin and an attempt at looking innocent.
Draugheru rolled his eyes. "What do you want?"
Estel sat down with a sigh. "That obvious?"
"Only a little. Besides," the elf jabbed the last of his food with a fork, "I know you."
"Alright, Mithrandir wants me to meet up with some hobbits in Bree in case he can't in about two weeks. Could you come with?"
The elf chuckled. "Can't handle a few hobbits by yourself?"
"Well, yes I can, but the Nine will be targeting them. I'd feel a lot more comfortable if you were there with Guardian."
"Fine, when will we leave?"
"ESTEL!" Draugheru groaned, before standing up and stretching. "Let me go collect my stuff."
As he packed a bag for travel, Draugheru idly thought that he should be used to Estel asking for him to do something at the last minute. Oh well, at least he had something to do; he had been getting pretty bored.
It was raining. And it was cold. Tony checked on Frodo before glancing at the other three hobbits. If they didn't make it to Bree soon, all of them would end up with colds from this weather. And Merry and Pippin were no fun when they were sick.
The hobbit breathed a sigh of relief when the gates came into view. "Not much further," he encouraged.
Frodo looked up, and a relieved expression crossed his face. It did not take long before they were walking into the Prancing Pony.
"We're here to meet Gandalf. Can you tell us where he is?"
"Nope, haven't seen him. But we have some nice hobbit rooms for ya if you will be staying."
"Enough room for five?" Tony interjected.
"Why of course, little masters, now why don't you go enjoy a drink."
Merry, Pippin, and Tony did just that. Merry and Tony discovered pints and Pippin decided to go get one. Frodo and Sam were just sipping theirs while Merry and Tony drank theirs as fast as possible.
Tony was being observant, however, and he noticed two men sitting in a corner, and casually watching them. He gulped slightly and drank some more, praying to God (Eru here, right?) that they were not going to attack.
Frodo must have been curious too, since he asked the bartender person about that. "Oh, them, that's Strider and his fairly new companion, Storm. And at their feet, is Wolf. I'd watch out for them, very shady."
The three hobbits that were paying attention nodded, though one of them was quite confused. He remembered about Strider of course, who wouldn't? But Storm and Wolf... he didn't know about at all and it was disconcerting compared to everything else that had happened. It was the first thing that didn't follow the books or movies, as far as he knew.
Tony looked around and mentally cursed when he noticed that Merry and Pippin were once again at the bar, now drawing attention to themselves with their antics. In an effort to keep them from spilling the beans, he joined in, trying to keep everything away from Frodo Baggins and similar subjects.
He sighed when Merry started talking about his cousin Frodo. "Merry," he hissed, trying not to gain anymore attention, but then Frodo jumped onto a table and started singing some random song, that sounded vaguely like an old nursery rhyme near the end.
Tony saw it coming before Frodo did. He dove forward, but too late, the hobbit had fallen off the table and disappeared. Tony cursed again and looked around, noticing that one of the men had also disappeared.
He grinned slightly, knowing that Strider was likely gearing up for a lecture or being mysterious. Then he realized. "Ah crap, now those hobbits are my responsibility."
He rounded them up and somehow convinced them to find Frodo by following Strider while he double-checked the bar.
Really, Tony just wanted to find out about Storm and Wolf. He sauntered over, but his usual charm looked ridiculous on a hobbit with curly hair.
Storm barely even glanced at him. "You should go with your friends."
"But they're probably with your friend by now," Tony retorted fiercely.
Storm turned his head away and began shaking.
"Wait, are you LAUGHING?"
The mysterious man who so did not belong in this story (in Tony's mind) turned back with a completely straight face just in time to stop Wolf from tackling the hobbit. He grabbed the wolf around the next and pulled him back.
"You really shouldn't have raised your voice to me, Shorty. Wolf's rather protective of me."
"Don't call me shorty!" Tony protested.
Storm merely chuckled before standing up and stretching. "I believe Strider's rounded up the rest of your friends and explained the situation a little more clearly by now."
"Wait, what? How did you know that I already..." Tony trailed off as he followed the man into the street to the other inn. Wolf sniffed Tony for a moment and then licked his hand.
Storm lead the way to the room, but stood outside the door for a moment, watching Tony as he tried to make sense of it all and tried to keep Wolf from licking him too much. "And here I was worried about you having a valid reason to call me Elf-Lord."
"What? McGee?" Tony asked, but Storm was already opening the door. Wolf trotted in first and he had to gently prod the hobbit into the room.
"Having fun Strider?" Storm asked brightly.
The Ranger turned and gave him a dirty look. "One of them still won't believe me, and why did you leave me here to deal with four hobbits by myself?"
Strom grinned. "As revenge for your last minute decision to get me to come with? Besides, I had to make sure Tony wasn't making trouble too."
He strode across the room and sat down, facing the five hobbits now grouped together. He flipped down his hood. "Is this proof that neither of us mean any harm?"
All the hobbits gasped in awe. "Another elf..." Sam mumbled, eyes wide. Frodo didn't looked too shocked while Merry and Pippin were having some type of argument.
Tony just stared, mouthing the words Elf-lord to himself.
"Oh, we haven't introduced ourselves properly yet, have we?" Storm went on, grinning at Strider, who squirmed. "That's Aragorn, and yes he is a Ranger, but rangers aren't all that bad. My name is Draugheru and I'm from Imladris, or Rivendell as most people around here call it."