Evil's Point

by SIHansonWeasleyGamgee

Greetings, my readers! Here is the next chapter of my story. I thank you all for your continued support of my tale. Your comments and reviews mean the world to me! Now, enjoy chapter ten of Evil's Point!

It was a very somber group of reunited friends that sat in a semicircle between the beds of their stricken comrades. The healers had left Legolas and Pippin in an enchanted sleep, hoping to allow their worn-out bodies to get some much-needed rest, while they conferred with Elrond in his chambers. Pippin and Legolas slept peacefully, but not entirely free from the poison that wracked them. Sweat glistened on their faces, which were drawn in pain and pale, and they murmured quietly.

Merry perched on a chair next to his cousin's bed, one thumb rubbing the knuckles of the sweaty hand he clenched in his own, every so often wiping a cool, damp cloth over Pip's sweaty brow. His eyes had a haunted, almost- despairing look to them that made it hard for the others to look at him. It had been a week and a half since the hobbits had arrived in Rivendell, and Pippin was not getting better. Countless thoughts ran through Merry's mind-memories of Pippin, of vegetables pulled from Farmer Maggot's black dirt, of parading around together in bright mail-shirts after coming back from the War of the Ring, of hiding together in Brandy Hall to get out of doing chores. However, one thought echoed in Merry's head more than all the others, hovering there like a carrion bird over an animal about to die, just on the brink of fixing itself permanently into his mind and driving away all hope forever. What will I do if we've lost Pippin?

In complete contrast to Merry, and Frodo and Sam who sat leaning against each other staring into space, was Gimli. He hovered over Legolas's and Pippin's beds like a mother dragon over her eggs. In addition, he kept up a constant nervous conversation with the air. If only he could have caught Legolas or gotten him to help sooner, he'd moan as he rested a hand on the elf's hot brow or anxiously scrutinized him for any sign that he might wake up. Surely Pippin had to wake up soon, for he was a hobbit, and if Gimli knew anything about hobbits it was that no hobbit could go so long without having a meal, he'd sigh, holding Pip's small hand. Though the others felt that Gimli's constant chatter and motion might well drive them mad, no one asked the dwarf to be quiet. They knew that this was Gimli's way of dealing with his fear and grief.

The four watchers found themselves wondering what was going on in their companions' minds as they tossed and moaned in their raging fevers. Legolas writhed about, sometimes crying out, at times babbling wildly, looking into space with unseeing eyes. Pippin did not talk in his fever, though he sometimes thrashed about violently, so that some Elves had to come and hold him down, placing a cloth in his mouth so he wouldn't bite his tongue, until the fit passed. Both Legolas and Pippin were plagued with horrible nightmares, unceasing images of fear and despair that they didn't seem to be able to wake up from. They knew that what they were dreaming wasn't real, but they couldn't do anything to stop their nightmares. They were forced to watch some of the worst times of their lives over and over again.

Suddenly, Frodo felt himself being watched. Looking up, he saw that there were two Elves of Elrond's household standing in the doorway, watching Frodo, Merry, Sam and Gimli with sympathy. As the others noticed the Elves, they bowed, and one announced, "Lord Gimli and most esteemed hobbits, my lord Elrond wishes you to confer with him immediately in his chambers."

"What for? Has-has he found out how to cure Pippin and Legolas?" asked Merry, new hope springing to life in his heart. The others stood up, not daring to believe it, but-

"I am sorry, Master Merry, but I do not know," said the Elf. "Please come with me, and then you will learn."

"I can't leave Pippin!" Merry protested, with an anxious glance at his fevered cousin. "What if something happens?"

"My companion here will stay and watch the ill ones," said the Elf. "Be assured that if anything happens to either of them, you will be the first to know."

"Come on, Merry," Frodo said softly, laying a hand on his shoulder. "Lord Elrond needs us. Pippin and Legolas will be all right for a while without us."

"A-all right," Merry agreed. He turned back to Pippin's bedside and leaned over, murmuring into his ear and caressing his hand. Finally, he straightened and came to stand beside Sam and Frodo. "Let's go."

The Elf led Frodo, Sam, Merry and Gimli briskly through the halls of Rivendell. Eventually, they came to a door that was standing open. Lord Elrond was inside, seated at a table, poring over an old and wrinkled piece of parchment.

"My lord Elrond, I have brought them, as you commanded," their guide announced with a bow. Elrond looked up. It struck Frodo that Elrond looked very tired-there were dark circles under his eyes and his face was grim.

"Thank you, Cantaliea," said Elrond. "You may leave us now."

"Yes, my lord," Cantaliea said, and turning, he left, closing the door behind him.

"My friends," Elrond now said to Frodo, Sam, Merry, and Gimli, "I have some news to share with you."

"You've found out how to make Pip well!!" Merry cried in joy. When Elrond shook his head, Merry's face fell, and he sagged against Frodo's shoulders. Frodo helped Merry to sit down as Elrond explained.

"No, Merry, I have not. However, there is now new hope. I sent a message to Aragorn shortly after you arrived, seeking his assistance in healing Pippin (and now Legolas). I have just received his answer. He would have set out from Rivendell almost five days ago."

"Aragorn!" exclaimed Frodo, as all their eyes lit up at the thought of seeing their old friend again. "He's coming?"

"When will he get here?" asked Sam.

"Can he help them?" demanded Gimli.

"He should arrive in a few weeks," Elrond said, raising a hand for silence. "And, as I was about to say, Aragorn agrees to participate in a channelling healing with me. This is where two healers combine their power to heal someone who is very ill. It is a dangerous procedure, but I believe that by using it, we might be able to cure Pippin and Legolas."

"You mean it? There might be a way?!?" Merry said happily.

"Yes, I do," smiled Elrond. "With hope, our friends will soon be well again."

After waiting for the hobbits' and Gimli's exclamations of joy to die away again, Elrond's face grew somber. "I have other news to share with you," he said. "Please, sit down. This may take a while." As Sam, Frodo, and Gimli found seats, Elrond began:

"A few nights ago, I was in the library of Rivendell, searching through some ancient documents for something that might inform me of a way to help Pippin and Legolas. Instead, I found this." Elrond indicated the parchment in front of him. "This, friends, is a copy of a very ancient prophecy made by an Elven scholar in the First Age. There are only a few copies of this in the world, and even fewer know of its existence. I myself had forgotten it, for it has been thrice a hundred years of Men since I saw it last. It goes like this:

When two fall of the Brothers Once Nine,

When stricken is she, the King's joy and pride,

The Savior returns to the place on high,

But what he seeks, he shall never find.

Once again he'll save the world,

But from the Light he shall be hurled.

The Seed shall sprout, the Dark shall grow,

Beyond the End the Savior will go.

The Great will return to the forsaken,

And the Dark will yield what it has taken.

When the earth has changed and the skies are rent,

Then Evil for all time will end."

Elrond fell silent and looked up at the friends. Frodo was the first to speak. "What does it mean, Lord Elrond? The first part of it.does it refer to.to us?"

"You have a shrewd mind, Frodo," Elrond said softly. "Yes, I do think the part about the 'Brothers Once Nine' refers to the Fellowship of the Ring."

"What about 'the King's joy and pride?'" asked Gimli.

"That could refer to many things. I believe 'the King' in the prophecy is Aragorn. 'She' could mean Gondor.or it could mean the Queen herself."

"Arwen," murmured Frodo.

"Yes," said Elrond sadly. "As for the rest of it, it is largely a mystery. However, I interpret the prophecy thus: evil is stirring again. I believe that there is a new power rising, a new evil power."

There was a long period of silence, as the hobbits' faces whitened and Gimli stared with wide eyes at the Elven lord. Finally, Merry spoke.

"And 'the Savior'? Can it possibly be talking about--"

"It's talking about me," said Frodo softly, in a haunted-sounding voice. Sam looked at his master with concern, noticing that he was shivering slightly. Also, to Sam's disquiet, he saw that Frodo was stroking the place on his hand where his ring finger had been; the finger that had borne the Ring that awful day in Mordor, that was sacrificed to Gollum, ending Sauron's realm. "It must be. I saved Middle-Earth.before."

Elrond looked at Frodo with pity and worry in his gaze. "That is what I fear," he said. "I fear, Frodo, most renowned of hobbits, that you must again save Middle-Earth. I fear that the prophecy means that you must find the new evil and defeat it. And to do this, I fear that you shall have to go back to--"

"Begging your pardon, but you can't mean that, Mr. Elrond, sir!" cried Sam, indignant, springing from his chair. "Surely you can't mean that Mr. Frodo has to." His voice quieted. "Has to go back to.Mordor?"


"How can you even think that, Elrond?!?" Sam cried angrily. "How can you even suggest that Frodo might have to go back to that horrible place? He can't! Hasn't he earned some peace and quiet yet?"

"If evil has returned to Middle-Earth indeed, Sam, then few of us shall have peace and quiet, even the great ones such as Frodo," said Elrond quietly. "Do not despair yet.. But two have fallen of the Brothers Once Nine." Elrond sighed. "I fear that whatever the prophecy tells that you, or others, must do, must be done soon."

Four anxious faces stared at him in silence. As if we didn't have enough to worry about, thought Merry. Another quest? How can we do this?

Merry's and the others' musings were suddenly interrupted when Cantaliea reappeared in the doorway. "Lord Elrond!" he exclaimed, bowing again. "I was sent by the Rivendell guards to tell you that you have another visitor!"

Elrond immediately stood up again. "A visitor? Can it be that Aragorn has arrived so soon?"

Cantaliea shook his head. "Nay, my lord! It is the White Wizard!"

"It can't be.?" cried Gimli increduously.

"It is!" Frodo sprang up, ran to the door, and peered down the hall, where the figure of an old man, clothed in white robes and carrying a long white staff, strode briskly down the hallway. "It's Gandalf!"

Again, thank you all for reading Evil's Point! And, since I take forever to update my story, I'm going to start an E-mailing informing people of new chapters. If you'd like to be E-mailed when I put up the next chapter of my story, say so in your review, and add your E-mail address!