Author's Note: Just a short bit of story written for my sisters - one who loves Arwen and one who loves Glorfindel. Set in movie-verse when Arwen (not Glorfindel) saves Frodo. The movie parts are from memory so the actual lines and actions may differ from the movie. You're forewarned. Oh, and reviews make me happy, so review please!
An elf-maiden slips a dark blue cloak about her pale white shoulders, fastening it with a silver broach at her throat. She pulls the hood high to hide the sheen of her radiant face. She has already strapped a sharp sword to her side and practiced drawing it from its sheath. It makes a decidedly dangerous sound each time. The sound makes her heart beat faster.
Her name is Arwen and she knows how to use the blade. Years ago her mother was taken and tormented by orcs. Her older brothers had ridden without rest to rescue her and through their valor, their mother's breathing body was returned to them. Her soul had been a different matter and she had sailed to the Undying Lands to avoid the shadows of Middle Earth. Elladan and Elrohir, her older brothers, did not easily forget their mother's torment. They had taught her how to wield a blade. At the time she had been annoyed at the lessons. Why would she need to have such a proficiency with a blade? Was she not the Evenstar of her people? Would she not always have a full guard? Surely their father, Lord Elrond of Rivendell, would not let her venture forth with anything less than an elf-lord for protection.
But now . . . now she was grateful for her brothers' war-lessons.
She blends into the darkness of the river valley, moving quieter than a hobbit towards the stables. There she encounters her first problem. The horses are all abroad with riders. Several days ago her father had received news that troubled him. She had not been told the news, but Elladan let slip that Estel was coming from Bree and that the Nine were abroad. He wanted her to know that he would find Estel and bring him safely to Rivendell.
As if she trusted him that far. Hundreds of years ago he had successfully returned their mother, but she had been beyond saving. Arwen never quite forgave them for not finding their mother before irreparable damage had been done. She loved Estel – Aragorn son of Arathon. She is not willing to leave his fate in her brothers' otherwise capable hands.
Of course, without a horse she will not get far. Frustrated, she turns to leave. But before she can, she hears the thunder of hooves on the bridge. She rushes out, throwing back her hood. Coming across the bridge she sees a most magnificent pair. The Elf-lord, Glorfindel, rides with confidence, head high, golden hair streaming behind him. Even in the dark his armor gleams. His horse is pure white and as swift as the wind, Asfaloth.
Arwen rushes up to him and he stops, leaping from his horse and landing beside her. "Lady Arwen, your father?"
"In his study," she says. "Has something happened?"
His blue eyes met hers, unflinching. "As of yet, no," he says. "But time flows quickly tonight and I cannot stay long."
"Then fly," she says. "I will tend to Asfaloth with sweet oats and water that he may be rested."
Lord Glorfindel offers her a small smile and kisses her cheek. Then he is gone, moving swiftly towards her father's study. Arwen stares at Asfaloth. The horse stares back, perhaps understanding better than Glorfindel that Arwen is a rebel spirit tonight. He has been taken by Lord Elrond's children before. Back when Elladan and Elrohir rescued their mother, Asfaloth had been stolen from his stables along with their father's mighty black steed. Her brothers wanted the fastest horses.
Arwen would not normally abscond with Asfaloth. But she needs a steed and Asfaloth is the only one available. She waits until her elf eyes no longer see Glorfindel. Then she mounts the horse and departs.
She rides toward Aragorn. Call it instinct. For even though she does not have the benefit of her father's counsel, she knows the Man she loves. She will find him. The longer it takes the more dread coils in her heart. What if she, like her brothers, is too late?
It is near dawn when she finds him. The coil of dread loosens. She swings from Asfaloth and slips through the still dark words, drawing her sword and pressing it to the side of his throat. "What's this?" she asks, enjoying the way his body stiffens in surprise. "A Ranger caught of his guard."
He looks up at her. His eyes are so bright and keen. His face, always grim, seems to lighten as he sees her. He stands, paying no heed to her bare blade. "Arwen?" He puts his hands on her shoulders, drawing her close and almost, almost kissing her. At the last instant, his lips a scant inch from hers, he remembers propriety and moves back. "Come, we must hurry," he says. "The Halfling fails even as we speak."
They move together through the dark, Asfaloth following silently. Aragorn explains that they were beset by Nazgúl at Weathertop and Frodo Baggins, adopted heir of Bilbo Baggins was stabbed by a morgul blade. Arwen listens. They reach the spot where he left the hobbits.
They are a tiny, little people with big hairy feet and generally sunny dispositions. One, somewhat larger than the others, leaps to his feet the second they return. "Strider, he's gettin' worse," he says before he sees Arwen. She brushes past him, examining the injured hobbit.
She has spent time in the healers' tents, but even so she is not as skilled as her father. She does what she can and then, promising to return for the others, she takes Frodo on Asfaloth and flees.
What can she say? She is pursued by Ringwraiths. All Nine of them as a matter of fact. Asfaloth rides faster and faster. Somewhere along the way she gets cut. A trickle of blood flows down her cheek. Then she is in the river. The cool water splashes against her legs, refreshing her and taking the terror of the Nazgúl from her. The river swells.
She has started the protective spell, but is still surprised at how quickly the river responds. Well, surprised until she sees her father. His face, neither young nor old, is closed to her. His grey eyes are opaque, showing nothing. She suspects that very shortly she shall feel his full wrath and she is briefly ashamed at stealing Asfaloth.
Then she sees Glorfindel's face and she remembers what it is like to be truly afraid.