Quwen's lip turned up in disgust as she kicked one of the dead orcs out of her way. All day long, she had sort of been milling about. She had nothing really to do and Aragorn had told her to rest.
That did not last long at all.
The lady ranger had easily escaped from Éowyn who was supposed to be watching her. However, Breeze slipped away the first moment the woman became distracted by another frantic woman.
A smile came onto her face at how dimwitted the lady seemed. But dimwitted was a terrible word. More like, unobservant.
Quwen picked her way along, taking her time. She didn't have any sort of entertainment, considering all the men were working outside. She considered working in the healing ward for a bit but dismissed that thought when Éowyn had tried to push her around. It didn't sit well with her.
Boromir had been one of the few men to remain inside the walls. He had turned very pale after the battle and he was ordered to rest as well as to not injure himself once again. He had of course been doing exactly what she was doing but had abandoned the task long ago. Instead, he decided to take an afternoon nap in a quite corner and rest up.
Sighing, Quwen made her way to the outer wall. A frown adorned her lips when she saw the large hole in the wall from the explosion. She wondered how they had done that, blow a hole in the wall. What magic was Saruman able to conjure to do such a task?
After thinking about it further, she came to the conclusion that she may never know and decided to continue her journey along the outer most wall of Helm's Deep.
Looking over the side of the thick brick wall, she saw all of what remained of the Rohirric soldiers working.
She easily found her companions among them. Gimli and Legolas were helping to carry bodies into the huge pile that was only starting to form. Aragorn was helping but at the same time, giving others orders.
He would sometimes stand off by himself and look off into the distance. This would usually happen when he would find a mangled Rohirric soldier's body and she could see the sadness in his eyes. Another life that had been lost. Another son, brother, husband, father, lost.
On lighter notes thought, Aragorn could often be found with Éomer and she would catch them laughing together. The blonde rider seemed to be one of the few people that could bring a smile to his face and it made her heart ache to not be able to comfort him. Instead, she had to remain inside under his own orders.
Quwen had only exchanged a few words with the Third Marshal and she wished to be in his presence once more so that they could converse and exchange stories. There would never be anytime for that anymore, considering the ten thousand dead orcs that lay lifeless on Helm's Deep's grounds.
It was only a day after the battle and they had taken a few hours to rest. For everyone was visibly exhausted from the recent battle and deserved to have a peaceful sleep. Now they were at it again.
Gandalf also announced that he would be taking a select few riders to investigate Isengard. The white wizard was curious as to what had happened with his old friend and he could no longer hide behind his orc army.
And so, they rode out. Nine of them left Helm's Deep. Eleven would return to Edoras.
Sitting upon the back of her steed, Quwen stared at the back of Aragorn's head. She had done a lot of thinking this morning. And that was normally not a good thing. To be left alone with one's thoughts, that is.
She knew that they were growing too close. Closer than just companions or friends. Friends did not kiss one another.
Her heart wanted to follow Aragorn, to follow him until her dying day. She wanted to be with him forever but her mind thought otherwise. It kept warning her of his lineage and her own lineage.
There was only a small possibility that they could be together. So, in her mind she only called this a hopeless romance. Only something one read about in Elvish fairy tales and books.
But she wanted to refuse those thoughts.
She wanted to be with him yet she couldn't. It would only result in blackening his name and she did not want that. And, if he was to be king, she did not want to take on that role. She could not sit in dresses all day. She could not be confined to the walls of Minis Tirith all day, even if Boromir claimed that it was so beautiful.
Sighing, she mopped a hand over her face and shifted in the saddle. They had left for Isengard early in the morning and the sun was barely reaching its highest peak in the sky.
She looked up at the sun now. The dark clouds that had accompanied Saruman's forces had diminished with the filth and the bright orb was beaming down on them, turning her darker hair golden in its rays.
"Something troubling you?" Quwen was pulled from her thoughts and looked over to the rider next to her. His hazel eyes twinkled with mirth and his lips pulled up slightly in the corners. He looked at her intently, waiting for her to answer.
"Yes. But I do not intend to share it with you..." She growled and Éomer chuckled deeply. She faced forward once more, fuming.
"I see you're in a foul mood! What has you so temperamental?" He asked, once more waiting patiently for her answer. "Aragorn?" He asked and her eyes narrowed. She reeled on him and for a moment, the Third Marshal was a bit nervous.
She had been known to hit people at times. Aragorn had told him of her welcome to him when he arrived to Helm's Deep. It had not turned out well.
His breathing nearly stopped when she placed her hand on the hilt of her sword.
"Actually, no. I was thinking about other things..."
"You said you didn't have a family!"
"Well, I lied... I have a brother and a sister..."
"And their names?"
"Roanen and Ariyana..."'
"Ah! Fine names! Where are they now?" She became solemn and the rider's smile dropped from his lips.
"I know not of their location..." She replied sadly, guilt entering her gut and making her toes curl.
"Do not fret, Quwen. You will find your family. You may just have to search harder..."
"Search harder? Search harder?! I've searched most of my life for them and I have yet to find them!" She cried out, frustration getting the best of her.
"Maybe after the war is over..."
"I highly doubt that my brother and sister are still alive..."
"Do not give up hope!" Eomer tried to reassure her but she only shook her head. She really just wanted to reach Isengard right at this moment so that he would stop persisting.
The sloshing of water drew her attention away from the conversation. Looking down at Del's hooves, they were submerged in water and the level was quickly rising. That's odd... she thought to herself. Water in the middle of the forest?
Breaking through the tree line, the large dark tower jutted up into the sky. It looked rather menacing but it lost some of its dark characteristics from being completely surrounded in water.
"Haha!" Her head snapped up in surprise. In the distance, sitting atop a jagged piece of stone, were the two hobbits that they had been searching for since forever.
Her temper flared slightly. Here they found them relaxing back and eating! Like a couple of fools that just got done with a hard days work!
"Welcome, my lords... and lady, to Isegnard!" Merry cheered, holding up his mug and almost falling over in the process. They were drunk. Lovely.
"You young rascals! A merry hunt you've led us on and now we find you feasting and… And smoking!" Gimli growled, also noticing how relaxed they were after a battle.
"We are sitting on a field of victory enjoying a few well earned comforts!The salted pork is particularly good!" Pippin waved a sandwich in the air, causing everyone's stomach to growl around them.
"S-Salted pork?" Gimli asked for conformation and Pippin nodded in delight.
"Hobbits..." Quwen complained and Aragorn snickered beside her.
"We're under orders from Treebeard who's taken over management of Isengard!" Merry exlaimed and Gandalf merely shook her head.
"Come on, hobbits. Get down now and come see me!" Boromir called from his horse. The two of them seemed to noticed him for the first time and wide smiles covered their faces.
"Boromir!" They chimed at the same time before hurrying to climb down from the stone. Sloshing through the water, they reached his horse and he helped them to climb up so they could properly embrace them. The autumn haired man chuckled as he let the two of them embrace him.
"Come along now, Pippin! We need to get moving!" Quwen rode up beside her friend. The hobbit only stared at her for a moment before transferring horses.
"Lady Breeze! I missed you so!" He wrapped his arms around her middle, embracing her tightly as well. She only smiled down at the hobbit before urging her horse forward with the others so that they could continue on into Isengard.
As they proceeded forward, Del matched pace with Brego and Aragorn noticed the familiar print of the horse riding next to him.
Looking up, his stoney blue eyes met her own hazel pair. Inside them, he saw that she was just content to ride next to him. They hadn't shared much time together since before the battle and even then, they hadn't reunited on the best terms.
He had gotten hit with a book and multiple pillows.
And so, he smiled slightly at her and her hazel eyes sparkled once she realized he was in a good mood. She smiled back before looking forward once more. It was nice to see her cheerful after the battle that had taken place only hours ago.
"Hoooom, young master Gandalf, I'm glad you've come... Wood and water, stock and stone I can master, but there is a Wizard to manage here locked in his tower..." Del reared up on his hind legs and Pippin cried out in distress.
Quwen was able to remain on his back by holding tightly to his reigns.
"Is that a t-talking tree?" Her voice rose a few octaves in disbelief. Del lowered himself back onto four hooves and Pippin gripped to her tightly. Once Del settled down, everyone was silent once more. She was once more by Aragorn's side.
"Show yourself..." He whispered quietly, his eyes scanning the tower for any signs of life.
"Be careful. Even in defeat, Saruman is dangerous!" Gandalf advised the heir of Isildur.
"Well then let's just have his head and be done with it!" Gimli raised his axe, wanting to spill Saruman's blood for what he had done.
"No, we need him alive. We need him to talk." Gandalf said.
"You have fought many wars and slain many men Théoden King and made peace afterwards. Can we not take counsel together as we once did, my old friend? Can we not have peace you and I?" Saruman cooed to the King who merely looked angry.
"We shall have peace... We shall have peace when you answer for the burning of the Westfold and the children that lie dead there! We shall have peace when the lives of the soldiers whose bodies were hewn even as they lay dead against the gates of the Hornburg are avenged! When you hang from a gibbet for the sport of your own crows... We shall have peace!" Quwen smirked at Théoden's answer.
"Gibbets and crows! Dotard! What do you want Gandalf Grahame? Let me guess... The key of Orthanc? Or perhaps the keys of Barad Dûr itself? Along with the crowns of the seven Kings and the rods of the Five Wizards...?"
"Your treachery has already cost many lives. Thousands more are now at risk. But you could save them Saruman. You were deep in the enemy's counsel!" Gandalf tried to plead with Saruman.
"So you have come here for information. I have some for you. Something festers in the heart of Middle Earth. Something that you have failed to see. But the great eye has seen it! Even now he presses his advantage. His attack will come soon..." Saurman said, holding up a solid ball that appeared to be made of pure onyx. Gandalf rode forward a few feet, his face hard.
"You are all going to die! But you know this don't you Gandalf? You cannot think that this Ranger will ever sit upon the throne of Gondor. This exile, crept from the shadows will never be crowned King!" Saruman hissed and Quwen looked over at her fellow Ranger. He looked away from the wizard who shamed him from above. Reaching outward, Breeze touched his hand lightly before riding forward in anger.
"Such strong words for a wizard who is trapped up in his tower!" She drew her father's blade and held it tightly in her hand. Her hazel eyes burned in challenge and she twirled it around once in anticipation.
"It would be best for you to hold your tongue, whore. Don't act so surprised. Lady of the North, I don't believe so... Whore of the North sounds correct. You will only be a harlot who longs after the exiled King... It was a shame, your brother and sister might have actually done something to benefit the war!" She had looked down during the middle of his rant. His words stung deeply but it wasn't true.
She was not a whore. She was not a common street harlot. Quwen would never resort to that.
When he mentioned her family, her hazel eyes snapped up to him, tears on the rims of her eyes. He talked of her family. If she knew that they could have made a difference in the war, she would have gladly taken their place and died for them.
But, did this confirm her fears? Were her siblings truly gone? They could not be.
Brego trotted up beside Del and Aragorn placed a hand on Breeze's shoulder. She turned Del around so she wouldn't have to look at Saruman only longer. Her shoulders shook slightly as the tears fell down her face.
"Oh, Breeze..." Aragorn reached across the gap between the two horses and embraced her but he was surprised when she pushed him away. Pulling her sword out once more she turned her horse around, her hazel eyes blazing once more.
The tears left dirty smudges down her face for, she had not bathed in a few days.
"You know not of what you speak, old man! I am no whore! And my family is very much alive!" Aragorn was surprised at the tone she used. It just seemed to flow from her like liquid fire and if anyone got to close, they would become terribly burned.
"Gandalf does not hesitate to sacrifice those who are closest to him... Those he professes to love! Tell me, what words of comfort did you give the Halfling before you sent him to his doom? The path that you have set him on can only lead to death!" Saruman said and Gimli prodded Legolas in the back.
"I've heard enough! Shoot him! Stick an arrow in his gob!" The dwarf demanded and the blonde female to his left nodded. "I agree, kill him..." She prodded the elf without even looking at him.
To her pleasure, the elf reached into his quiver and drew out an arrow but was stopped by Gandalf.
"No! Come down Saruman and your life shall be spared!" Gandalf called up to his old friend. Quwen watched in horror as Saruman turned down Gandalf's offer and shot a fireball at him. However, Gandalf was unaffected and instead, Saruman's staff broke.
Behind Saruman, another man suddenly approached and joined the wizard on the roof.
"Grima! You need not follow him! You were not always as you are now. You were once a man of Rohan. Come down!" Théoden called up to the sickly looking man. Without warning, Grima stabbed the wizard in the back but before he could climb down, Legolas had impaled an arrow in his chest.
Everyone watched as the wizard tumbled downward until he was impaled on the great wheel below the tower. Quwen didn't turn her head away in disgust, instead she was rather glad that the fowl mouthed wizard was dead. Serves him right.
"Send word to all our allies and to every corner of Middle Earth that still stands free! The enemy moves against us. We need to know where he will strike!" Gandalf declared. However, the wheel began to creak and Saurman's body slipped under water. The shinning black orb from before slipped from his cream robes into the water.
Quwen's companion seemed to have seen the object and he dismounted. He dropped down into the water and began making his way over to it.
"Pippin!" She called after him but watched with curiousity. He picked up the onyx stone and turned it over a few times in his hands. It was completely smooth and inside something stirred in it like it was a living thing.
"Peregrin Took! I'll take that my lad! Quickly now!" Gandalf held out his hand and he snatched the orb away from Pippin and tucked it deep into his stark white robes.
"Come along now, Pippin..." Quwen rode up beside him and he looked lost for a moment. "Pippin?" She nudged him with her stirrup and he came out of his daze. Offering him a hand down, he grasped her forearm around her vambrace before she brought him up behind her.
The group began to make their way back to the forest but out of the corner of her eye, Quwen watched as Aragorn approached her. Brego matched her horse's pace and they rode together in silence for a moment.
Aragorn could tell that something was deeply troubling the fair maiden. Her eyes were focused on the fine hairs of her horse's mane and her shoulders dropped in defeat.
"Quwen, what troubles you?" He asked her quietly and in elvish so the others wouldn't understand what they were conversing about. Her hazel eyes rose for a minute before focusing on the ever approaching forest.
"Nothing, my friend..." She tried but he only persisted.
"Saruman's words are not true..."
"Yet their bite still stings!" She hissed back, diverting her eyes away from him. Pippin was thoroughly confused behind her but persisted on listening to the wonderful elvish words, even if they were grim.
"I only fear that his words may be true..." She replied back much more weakly this time. Reaching over, Aragorn placed his hand around her, making her hazel pools meet the blue stones that were his eyes.
"We will find your family..." His thumb gently stroked the back of her hand, causing her to relax some.
"One can only hope, Aragorn..." She replied before turning her hazel eyes away from him once more. She wished to be in solitude for the time being and the Ranger would grant her that one small wish for the time being.
I'm back people! I feel like I haven't even thought about this story in forever!
But, I watched the movie this weekend with the fam and I forced myself to sit down and write this! I cranked out eighty percent of this chapter in one day! I am the champion.
I have to do this every time I write a new story but I don't own Lord of the Rings. I wish I owned Aragorn thought. Just like I wish I owned Thor, Peter Pevensie, Cato, Sam Witwicky, Will Turner, etc.
I think my wish would come true. Oh, and David Tennant as well. Yes, then my dreams would come true.
Anyway, this story is going to take a long longer to write, considering it is basketball season and I'm also writing a couple other stories in the process. My Avengers fic is on hold momentarily because I have to tie in all of the other movies and they have yet to come out.
I did just write a cute holiday Avengers fic though that you should check out if you haven't already. It's at the end of Thunderstruck in case you were wondering.
I'm rambling. Sorry.
Love you guys and review please!