Disclaimer: Insert witty 'I own nothing' message here

Authors Note: This idea came to me after reading too many 'Girl appears in ME for some reason or another' and Merry/Pippin slash stories. Strange combination but it came up with this, which as far as I know, is somewhat original. Any line of ~*~*~*~ those things represents a change in time. It varies between the past and present in the beginning, but it will smooth out to just flashbacks after a while. Enjoy! (And pretty please, REVIEW! I love all comments, and you can flame or compliment me as much as you'd like!)



Moria's Child

The thick and heavy air of Moria was pierced by a wailing cry. The high octave screech assaulted the quite air in the cave in which no dwarf had lived for quite some time.

"'Ey! Whatsdat sound Bonecrusher?" A goblin hissed to his friend as the loud screaming reached their ears. The two orcs were on watch duty as the rest of the colony slept and rested. It would be their heads if the sound woke up the boss, who was quite the disagreeable fellow.

"I dunno stupid, we 'ave to go find out." Bonecrusher replied, his raspy voice all but mutilating the nice sounds of the common tongue. His friend grumbled and the pair of orcs scrambled down towards the entrance of Moria.

The wails and screams seemed to grow louder, and then stopped as two pairs of golden-green eyes peered at the noises source. A tiny baby, a human girl, blinked at the two creatures that had discovered her. Her bright honey brown eyes were so busy staring at them she forgot to scream, and Moria once again grew silent.

"It's an 'uman. A baby 'uman." Bonecrusher observed as he poked her with his dirty orc claws.

"Let's kill it." His friend was quick to say, not wanting to waste time with much else. But his companion shook his head and roughly grabbed the child in one arm where she proceeded to wail again. The stench coming off of him was enough to make anything cry, but he was holding her and he was not gentle.

"I gots an idea." Growled Bonecrusher, causing his friend to snort in disgust.

"You don'ts need no idea, let's just kill the beast." Was the reply, but Bonecrusher chose to ignore it. They climbed back to their post, and were greeted by the sight of their leader. A snarl was rising in his throat, and his dark lips were curled in disgust. "Where were you two idiots?" He demanded as they reluctantly stood before him, expecting punishment any second. Bonecrusher quickly told where they were, and then presented the child to him. His leader took the child, and the blanket wrapped around her. Peering closely at the fabric a smile soon replaced his scowl.

"The mark of Gondor is on this blanket." He told them, one muscular arm cradling the infant. His sour lemon eyes glared into hers, and then a loud throaty laugh (if you could call it a laugh) rolled off his tongue and bounced echoing off the caverns walls. Pluton (for that was his name) was amused by the fact she glared back at him.

"We could use 'er." Bonecrusher suggested as his Master finished laughing. Again the head orcs lip curled, as if he was insulted by what was said. Fixing Bonecrusher with a look that plainly said I-already-have-a- plan; he reached out and swatted him on the head.

"Teach the little brat to fight, shoot arrows, use swords and knives, run swiftly, dodge.all of it. Do not touch her, I want her unspoiled till eighteen winters pass." He commanded as he roughly shoved her back to them. They stared at the little child, the human child, they were now to raise. Orcs were not usually gentle with offspring, but for this one an exception would be made.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

"Pluton!" The melodious voice that was the only sweet sound in Moria for the past eighteen years sounded. The demanding gaze of the human they'd raised fixed upon the orc leader. He snarled in response, which would have scared any of the others away, but not her.

"Pluton, you swore you'd let me see outside this blasted cavern today!" Her voice was low and soft, but as the orcs had learned, this only meant she was especially upset.

"And what day is today?" Pluton asked in annoyance from where he sat eating his grand meal. He barely glanced up from his meat which he ate in ravenous bites, and this proved to only further annoy the girl.

"My eighteenth year since you idiot goblins found me." She replied. Pluton glanced up and fixed his yellow eyes on her. Yes, it had been eighteen years since they'd found her, and many times he regretted taking her in. She was not the prettiest thing to look at as far as humans went.

The girl had long, unruly maple hair that was always twisted into tangles and knots. Her face was more masculine than feminine, save for the long ebony lashes and peach lips. It was her eyes that were most curious, a very light brown, almost honey colored. Living in the cave had made her strong, nearly every part of her was well muscled. But lack of 'real' food (as she called it) made her thin, too slender too make for a top warrior. A very good warrior she was, but not the best. Her forte was in archery, perhaps because her vision for surpassed theirs. But in every other skill that required weapons she did well enough at, at least well enough to survive battles.

He grabbed a sharp knife and flung it, where it whistled by, just inches past her ear. It clanged against the wall behind her and fell, where she picked it up. Running a finger along its blade, she then took its handle and tossed it back. The knife landed a hairs width from his finger, causing Pluton to growl in anger.

"Arrow, please leave me to eat and go bother someone else." He muttered, sticking another forkful of food in his mouth. Her nickname, Arrow, had been used so often that many forgot what they'd first called her. They'd first named her Wynter, on account of that was the season they found her, but when she became top archer she was quickly known as Arrow.

He looked up, expecting to find the place where she'd been standing empty, but she was still standing their. "ARROW! Get OUT!" He roared, but the girl did not flinch. She folded her arms across her bosom, which signaled her defiance to him. Pausing, Pluton let out a raspy sigh, and stood.

"You know what's going on out there? You eavesdrop enough, I'm assuming you do." He snarled at her, but was dismayed when this did not faze her either.

"Yes, I've heard about the ring. About Sauron, Saruman, Gandalf, the halflings, the elves, the dwarves, the Nazgul, the Uruk-Hai, the other orcs, the ents. And if you don't mind, I'd like to see it for myself." She replied tartly, her eyes smoldering in determination. Pluton snorted, trying to still appear haughty as if he knew she'd heard so much. In truth, he believed she knew barely anything, but now he was worried. If she heard that, she could have easily heard of his plans for her.

"You promised me I could leave this disgusting place on my eighteenth birthday!" Arrow added, and a smile slowly crept across Plutons face. He had also promised his warriors something too, but from her look, he guessed she did not know. The orc quickly pondered what would happen if he just handed her over to them and gave up the plan they'd worked on for these past eighteen years. But no, he couldn't.

"Fine. Get some guards, and you may go to Moria's entrance." Pluton said, waving his hand at her as if she should hurry and get it done with.

At that moment, something neither was expecting happened, dashing the hopes of both orc and human.

"Master! The Fellowship is approaching Moria!" A small orc exclaimed, bursting into the room with the news. At this, Arrow's eyes seemed to fill with excitement while Pluton's eyes narrowed to slits. A very dangerous sign indeed, because it means you have successfully angered an orc. Which if you are not skilled in fighting, is unwise, and it just so happened this scrawny orc who had the luck of announcing this was a very poor fighter.

"Fool!" Pluton hissed, grabbing the knife he'd just thrown at arrow and hurled it at the creature's neck. It sunk into his horny skin, and he made horrible gurgling noises as he sank to the ground near Arrow's feet.

A dozen orcs soon filed into the room, shouting about the nine companions Arrow had heard so much about. Seeing Pluton preoccupied, the girl slipped unnoticed from the muddled chamber. All around her, everyone was speaking of the ones approaching, paying Arrow no attention.

'This is my chance.' She thought to herself, 'I can finally get out of this blasted place and actually do something! I'll sooner be the consultant of Saruman himself before that idiot Pluton can do anything to stop this.quest.'

Her feet carried her swiftly to the entrance of Moria, which was as usual, closed. The peculiar thing was that guards had abandoned their post, leaving her free to leave. At the back of her mind, something screamed at her it was too simple, but she would not listen. Searching hands quickly found all her weapons, and a good supply of food that would last her a good while. The clothing she wore, of orc design, was well worn, but it would have to do.

And with that, she pushed the doors of Moria open and was greeted by the blinding sunlight she'd longed to see for eighteen long years.