Chapter I: Eternal Life
You walk a lonley road
Oh! How far you are from home
May it be by Enya
Disclaimer: I own nothing but any OC's.
Athanasia tucked a stray white strand hair behind the old wizard's ear. Carefully she studied Gandalf aged face, and inspected his new living body. A slight cold breeze ruffled through Athanasia's curly dark brown hair taunting her locks. As if by the winds command the deeply wrinkled wizard's eyes jolted open. Gazing down at his piercing blue eyes she carefully analyzed his expression drinking it in.
His brows where knit together in confusion, and a hard line had formed on his lips. The wizard's eyes darted back and forth searching hers for information. She took a deep breath, and calculated the exact words she would use.
"Olórin, I have been made to bring you back, and now I have," Athanasia whispered slowly. "The Fates deem your time incomplete, and until the task is done you must remain on Middle Earth." It seemed that he muddled over her words for a long time, and rolled them around in his brain. The young woman looked up at the clear blue sky above them, and waited for him to speak.
"Where am I?" he asked, and Athanasia was startled slightly. She had never expected such a simple question, nor had she expected him to speak for awhile longer.
"The top of Durin's Tower, and soon Gwaihir, Lord of Eagles shall come," the young woman smiled slightly.
"Where I died…tell me young maiden, what is your name?"
"Athanasia, and your new name is Gandalf the White," Gandalf closed his eyes at this, and he carefully placed a hand on his forehead, massaging his forehead. He was struggling it seemed to remember everything, and place it together in a way he could understand it thoroughly. The young woman allowed his head to remain in her lap, and awaited Gwaihir to come. As she continued to gaze at the pure blue sky her own thoughts consumed her. With her task now deemed done, would she be free to die? Would she finally ease the loneliness of thousands of years with death?
A powerful wind brushed back her hair with brutal anger, and broke her from her thoughts. A beautiful honorable creature descended upon Durin's Tower landing next to them. Great wings folded together, and pressed unimaginably prefect against the Great Eagles sides. Powerful glossy black talons, and a sharp pointed beak made Gwaihir dangerously breathtaking. Athanasia had always wished to look upon the honorable Gwaihir, and his kind. Fate had graced her for once, and such majestic presence gave her hope for Middle Earth.
"You are Athanasia," the voice of the Lord of Eagles shook her to the core, and his black eyes studied her thoroughly.
"Yes Lord Gwaihir, and I have brought back Gandalf. He is stable enough to travel to Lothlórien," Athanasia nodded getting up carefully as Gwaihir came over to grasp Gandalf in his claws, as the wizard was still very weak.
"You are to come, climb upon my back," he ordered as she reached the base of the stairs in mid stride. The young woman watched the great Eagle's black eyes, and knew it would be against better judgment to disobey Gwaihir.
"Come," Gandalf whom had been quiet spoke, and looking between the Lord and the wizard she nodded. Walking over carefully she climbed upon the Lord Gwaihir's back with great delicacy. She felt awkward, and instantly felt her bare legs begin to slip; squeezing her thighs onto the great eagle helped her to steady herself.
"Wrap your arms around my neck, and let us be gone from this sickening place!" The Eagle Lord cried lifting off the ledge with a giant push of his wings. They caught a sudden gust of wind and flew out to Lothlórien. Athanasia shut her eyes tightly, and clutched onto the great eagles neck. The unforgiving wind blew her hair in front of her shunning her peaking eyes. Leaning herself into the eagles neck she felt relieved the closer she came to him. After hours of flying with the wind she began to feel her legs burn under the constant strain. The loud flamboyant wind made it impossible to even yell a single word to the wizard or the Eagle Lord. The young woman instead bit her lip, and focused on the small rays of light shinning through her hair. Too afraid to move out of her position, she contented herself in diving into thought.
Why had she been allowed to ride on Lord Gwaihir's back? He only knew of her, because of a single prophecy that Gandalf would rise again with Athanasia upon the tower of Durin. Yet she never suspected that the Lady Galadriel would want her to come along. In fact her very existence had been all but legend and myth until she had come out of the mountain to revive Gandalf after he died defeating the foul Balrog. Her years of solitude, and listening to the rambling of goblin kind out of boredom hadn't been in vain, but it still caused her to lose herself in constant thought.
Breaking her thoughts apart she searched from where the voice in her head had come. She felt the strands of another's mind reach out to her. Lightly entering her mind the presence grew within her, and Athanasia waited for the pleasant voice to speak again. Yet the strands pulled away, and the sudden withdrawal left her empty.
The young woman opened her eyes to see that the Eagle Lord had begun to descend into the eternal land of Lothlórien. Nervousness bubbled inside her gut making her chew on her lip. It had been her life long dream to glance upon the beauty of Lothlórien, and to feed her eyes on the elegant purity of its white luminous trees. It did not disappoint her and far exceeded her rich imagination. The trees grew thick and tall; even from the height at which they where descending at the tree tops nearly reached them. A liquid fluid music embraced her wind worn ears, and the angelic chants reached into the depths of her heart drawing out all the sorrow suffocating her. The Eagle Lord gently landed on a tree top platform, and set Gandalf upon it. Athanasia slid from his neck and fell onto her knees. She sat as her legs screamed bitterly at her in protest.
"You are Athanasia," an elegant soft voice spoke. In all Athanasia's many years, she had never seen such a beautiful lady. Long soft golden locks cascaded down her back, each curl uniform. Her crystal blue eyes mimicked a pale river in the glory of spring. Her skin was flawless, ageless, and glowed as if touched by the moon. Lady Galadriel was dressed in a pure snow white dress that flowered in a trail behind her, and her back was held with a virtuous grace. Athanasia gazed upon Lady Galadriel with awe, and in all the Lady's glory she felt naked before her. Who could match Lady Galadriel's beauty, and not feel naked before her? Insignificant and unworthy to continue to look Athanasia lowered her eyes.
"Yes Lady Galadriel," Athanasia whispered.
"Come dear one, rest until Gandalf has recovered," she said slowly touching her chin with a finger. Athanasia fought back the feeling to flinch under the woman's cool touch, but failed miserably. Athanasia rose up from the ground, and awaited further direction. She contented herself with starring at her worn holey boots.
"Lady Athanasia, I am called Haldir, and I shall be your company for a time," she looked up at the elf starring at her with a blank expression. Straight pale blonde hair fell down past his face, and his dark blue eyes searched hers. He had a rounded face that was very youthful and full as if he was still a young man. He had a slim body, but his height was startling. He was a foot taller than her, and feeling insignificant she looked at her shoes again. He said nothing, and walked away with her trailing behind him. Remembering the Great Eagle Lord behind her she whipped around and bowed her head.
"If you ever need me small one, call out my name from within your heart," Lord Gwaihir said flying off the perch, and back to his home. She continued to bow her head until she was touched on the shoulder by Haldir. She flinched withdrawing a slight step, and turned to follow him once he had proceeded a few feet in front of her. He seemed unmoved by her flinching, and she began to descend the enumerable steps. A sudden brutal flashback torn into the walls she had built up in her mind over so many years.
Hot heat descended upon her face, and she fought to breathe. A filthy pungent smell of decaying bodies watered her eyes as she fought back the flames ready to consume her. She ran trying to escape, and felt a thick arm wrap around her small waist. She was pulled, and dragged by her hair through hot embers. She fought the tears that would be useless as the vomited green orc pulled her along. He threw her against the ground in front of him, and torn her dress off in the process.
Athanasia didn't realize she was falling so quickly, and the endless stairs offered her a quick release from the memories she had suppressed for so many years. Haldir caught her to her great disappointment, and steadied her as she pulled away instantly.
"Weariness overtakes you Lady Athanasia?"
"Please I'm just Athanasia, and yes, sorry for the inconvenience," she began to walk down the stairs again as soon as Haldir went in front of her. She directed her gaze to the stairs, and focused everything on not misplacing a step. She didn't want any sudden contact with Haldir again, and loathed the fact she had not died, and the fact he didn't let her die. They reached the end of the stairs, and her boots met with soft moss. Taking off her boots she allowed her feet to soak in the soft coolness of the moss. It felt absolutely heavenly against her heavily callused feet.
"Bathing is done in the spring through there, and your room is here," he said as she looked up at the tree that had a door, and seemed to be hollowed out. She pushed it open to find a simple bed made of branches woven in delicate patterns. A wardrobe off to the side, and a long mirror made the room complete. She looked off at the spring hidden behind bush and many trees. How long had it been since she had bathed? Sighing a small smile crept onto her face. She nodded and bowed to Haldir whom left her promptly.
Walking quickly to the spring she found it deserted. It was lovely beyond comparison. Clear blue waters surround her like a giant bathtub. Throwing off her clothes she dove into the water. She swam in the water, and laid on her back. She saw a basket had been left by the little lake, and she swam over finding various soaps, and scrubbing brushes. A towel had been neatly folded at the bottom. She grabbed the coarsest brush and quickly lathered it in soap. She pulled herself out of the water, and began the long work of scrubbing off years of dirt, dead skin, and other grime. After she had worked the first scrub she dipped herself into the water. Muck fell away from her turning the water around her a hideous brown color, before blending into the large expanse of water. She pulled herself onto the moss again and repeated several times until her skin became red. She wanted to be clean again, and after she was satisfied she began with her massive hair. Reaching into the basket she pulled out liquid soap and in the water worked through her hair. It took several washes before it was normal, and after she was satisfied that she was in fact clean she floated on the water. The green leaves so high above her shielded her from the bright hot sun.
Not wanting to risk a sudden elf coming upon her she got out of the spring and wrapped the towel around her. Picking up her disgusting tunic and boots she walked back to her room running, and quickly shutting the door behind her threw the clothes on the floor as if they were on fire. A nightdress had been left on the bed, and the mirror beckoned to her. Athanasia ignored its frantic call, and threw on the dress. Quickly diving into bed to miss the mirror the lights turned out around her. She pulled on the heavy covers, and fell into a strange peaceful sleep.
I hope everyone enjoyed the first chapter, I really enjoyed the LOTR book series, and movies, and thus have blended both in this fanfiction. Though I have used more of the book as my guide more than anything. A new chapter shall arrive soon!