Sorry for the long wait! I took the liberty of fixing the goblin/orc mixup in the last chapter...Thanks for pointing that out! :). I also edited a couple of minor things to help with the flow of the story and some descriptions. You may wish to re-read the chapter, but nothing major was changed so it's not necessary! Here's the next chapter… Enjoy! Please review! I welcome constructive criticism and comments!
Disclaimer: I do not own HP or LOTR. Any quotes I used from the movie screenplays were designated with an asterisk.
Chapter 8: The Golden Lady and the Final Split
Time seemed to slow as Harry fell. Clenching his staff, he called upon his power and sped up his descent until he reached Gandalf. The old wizard was holding his gnarled staff in one hand and a long sword in the other. He looked over at the younger wizard and nodded in determination.
One way or another, they would defeat the Balrog.
The two wizards turned their attention back to the demon and shared a grim smile as the Balrog screamed it's rage. It was time to fight.
Days later, the mourning, broken group arrived in the forests of Lothlorien. Even Gimli's claims of the supposed evil Witch Queen that ruled the forests barely invoked a response from anyone. Legolas was numb, too far gone into worry and grief to be aware of the world around him.
He could feel Harry dimly in the back of his mind, but he could not tell if his mate was hurt, distressed, or in need of help. He couldn't even tell if the opposite were true. The bond was still there, but it was muted, and silent.
Before he knew it, Legolas and the others were surrounded by a group of tense elves. Legolas merely blinked. His thoughts were hazy. How could he focus on anything else but Harry's safety right now?
He remembered nothing of the discussion that took place next between Aragorn and Haldir, the Marchwarden who guarded Lothlorien's borders. He never saw the looks of sorrow the guard elves gave him when Aragorn finally explained the reason for Legolas's silence. He also barely registered the blindfold that covered his eyes for the duration of the trek to the elven city.
His first real moment of awareness came when they stood in front of Lord Celeborn and Lady Galadriel. The Golden haired Elf Queen had looked on him in pity, and murmured, "Do not lose hope, Legolas, Prince of Mirkwood. He will return to you."
His eyes had snapped completely open, and he blurted, "Have you seen it, Lady Galadriel? Does he truly live?"
The Elf Lady smiled serenely, and said, "The Valar sent me a message to pass on. They did not wish for their champion's mate to wither away in despair. Wait for him."
For the first time in a long while, Legolas smiled, albeit only a little. He would always wait for Harry, even if he had to wait forever.
The fellowship had been sent on their way with gifts of elven cloaks and other trinkets. Gimli's request of a hair from Galadriel's head had amused most of them, especially considering his comments on the "Evil Witch Queen" that day they were led into the city. For Aragorn, the elves had stated that they could give no gift better than the Evenstar necklace from Arwen that hung around the ranger's throat. Legolas had refused any gift other than the cloak, stating that he had already received a most precious gift… the knowledge that Harry would come back to him.
Legolas, mostly recovered from his mind-numbing depression, had noticed that Frodo had a certain determination and aura about him. Perhaps the loss of the two wizards had forced him to realize the severity of their mission. Personally, he suspected part of it had to do with Frodo's midnight excursion to meet with Lady Galadriel. Legolas had followed the hobbit and stayed hidden as the elven lady offered to let Frodo look into the mirror. Whatever the hobbit had seen, it had changed him, and brought out new strength in the small creature.
Now, what was left of the fellowship was gliding down a wide river in elven canoes. Legolas paused his steady rowing when he heard a small noise that seemed out of place. Discretely turning his head, he caught a glimpse of pale skin, and large, watery eyes. The creature Gollum was following them again.
Aragorn and Gandalf had become aware of the misfortunate creature down in Moria, but the elf had never expected him to be able to follow the fellowship so far. It seemed Gollum was craftier than he seemed.
Legolas returned to rowing, making a mental note to inform Aragorn of their stalker.
Several hours before sundown, when the sun was still high in the sky, the Fellowship sailed towards a great, roaring waterfall. On either side of the falls, the land rose in two hilltops crowned by distant ruins. In the center of the rushing water a pinnacle of rock stood immobile in the pounding of the falling water. As the group disembarked on a gravel shore, Boromir looked troubled and conflicted. The Gondorian occasionally sent unreadable looks at Frodo as they made camp.
Aragorn declared, "We cross the lake at nightfall. Hide the boats and continue on foot. We approach Mordor from the north.*" Gimli retorted, "Oh, yes?! It's just a simple matter of finding our way through Emyn Muil? An impassable labyrinth of razor sharp rocks! And after that, it gets even better!*" The three hobbits present looked up in worry. Oblivious, the dwarf continued, "Festering, stinking marshlands, far as the eye can see!*" Finally Aragorn interrupted and stated, "That is our road. I suggest you take some rest and recover your strength, Master Dwarf.*" Gimli looked offended. "Recover my…?! Phrrrrr…*" Legolas had a bad feeling that was nagging at him. He turned to Aragorn. "We should leave now.*" The ranger shook his head. "No. Orcs patrol the eastern shore. We must wait for cover of darkness.*"
The elf responded quietly, "It is not the eastern shore that worries me. A shadow and a threat has been growing in my mind. Something draws near...I can feel it!*"
Aragorn frowned, and looked around the camp suspiciously. The majority of the fellowship was present. Sam, Merry, and Pippin were grouped together, fishing for supper, and Gimli was sharpening his axe. "Boromir and Frodo aren't here. We should check on them." He had seen the odd looks Boromir had been throwing Frodo that day.
Suddenly, the loud blast of a horn echoed from the forest, and Aragorn recognized it with a gasp, "The horn of Gondor!"
The ranger took off in the direction of the sound, Legolas hot on his heels. They had not run more than 50 yards before they stumbled upon Frodo. The hobbit's chest was heaving, and his eyes were frightened. Legolas hung back as Aragorn approached the wary young hobbit.
Startled, the hobbit stammered out, "It has taken Boromir.*"
Sharply, Aragorn asked, "Where is the Ring?*"
Frodo scrambled away, screaming, "Stay away!"
The hobbit stopped his retreat.
The ranger said in a softer tone, "I swore to protect you!"
With a tremor of hope, the hobbit shakily questioned, "Can you protect me from yourself?" Frodo held his palm out, the ring glinting in the dim light.
"Would you destroy it?*"
Ignoring the rings calls of power and temptation, Aragorn gently closed Frodo's fist around the ring.
He said, "I would have gone with you to the end, into the very fires of Mordor.*"
Frodo seemed to come to a decision. He whispered, "Look after the others, especially Sam. He will not understand.*"
Aragorn started to nod, but was interrupted by the twang of a bow. Legolas had engaged in picking off the charging Uruk-Hai.
"Run, Frodo!" He pushed the hobbit away from the battle and turned, drawing his sword.
He gave a half-smile, and sauntered towards them, touching his sword to his forehead in a gesture of acceptance to the challenge. The first one attacks, and the battle is on.
Amidst the clanging of swords and the spray of bloodshed, they were joined by Gimil, who leapt into the fray with a roar, swinging his axe and chopping through the enemy forces. The trio slowly made ground, forcing their way through to where Boromir was fighting.
They arrived on scene to see Boromir receive three arrows to the chest as he defended Merry and Pippin, who hid behind him. The three hacked desperately at the remaining Uruk-Hai blocking their way from getting to Boromir. Finally, they saw a break in the line and took it. Aragorn immediately sprinted to the creature that held the crossbow and swung his sword with a roar. He cleaved the Uruk-Hai's body in two, blood dripping from his sword as he then whipped around to run to Boromir's side.
The Gondorian was on his back, gasping for a breath that evaded him. Boromir rasped out, "They took the little ones.*"
Aragorn murmured, "Be still.*"
The Gondorian ignored him. "Frodo! Where is Frodo?"
"I let Frodo go.*"
Boromir closed his eyes briefly before reopening them. "Then you did what I could not. I tried to take the Ring from him.*"
The ranger responded solemnly, "The Ring is beyond our reach now.*"
Desperately, the injured man begged, "Forgive me. I did not see it. I have failed you all. Will you tell Harry, I'm sorry? Please?"
Aragorn reached out to touch the arrows imbedded in the man's chest. "Boromir, you fought bravely! You have kept your honor.*"
The man looked at him bleakly. "Leave it! It is over. The world of men will fall, and all will come to darkness… and my city to ruin.*"
Aragorn said fiercely, "I do not know what strength is in my blood, but I swear to you I will not let the White City fall…nor our people fail!*"
Boromir breathed out, "Our people? Our people."
Aragorn saw the warrior's sword lying next to him, and helped Boromir to clasp it to his chest, along with the broken pieces of the Horn of Gondor.
Boromir struggled to gasp out, "I would have followed you my Brother…my Captain…My King!"
The man's eyes had barely started to dim when a bright white light engulfed him. Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli leapt away with a cry, shielding their eyes from the brightness. A few moments later, the spots cleared from their eyes and they were met with the view of a small divet in the forest ground where Boromir had laid, and a small scroll of parchment sitting innocently next to it.
With shaking hands, Legolas picked up the scroll. He read:
"To Legolas, Prince of Mirkwood, Aragorn, Son of Arathorn, and Gimli, Son of Gloin,
Greetings from the Valar. I've borrowed Boromir for a bit. It seems he is in less than perfect condition, and I'll have to rectify that. Anyway, have fun chasing those hobbits down!
Best of luck,
Harry Potter, Black Wizard"
A tiny postscript was inserted below the wizard's signature. 'Legolas, I love you. See you soon.'
Legolas barely restrained himself from dancing in joy. The relieved looks on Gimli and Aragorn's faces when they heard that Harry was taking care of Boromir faded into determination when they heard his next sentence. They were going hunting.
End of Chapter 8