Wherever We Are

DSICLAIMER: I do not own Lord of the Rings or anything else that I reference! Natalie and Francesca own themselves respectively! I only own myself and my OCs!

Chapter Twenty Six

Natalie's POV

News of the Jackass Extraordinaire's arrest spread like wild fire through Minas Tirith. Everywhere I went, I heard the whispers and either saw or felt people staring at me, wondering what had actually happened. I bit my lip and narrowed my eyes as I walked towards the training grounds with Gimli. I planned on introducing him and Teran once we were there.

"I hate this. I wish we could just hold the trial and be done with all of this!" I whispered harshly as we walked.

"I understand what you mean, lass. All these people staring and whispering; it must be grating on your nerves. It doesn't sit right with me either." Gimli commented. I nodded.

"Teran!" I called once we reached the training grounds. Said dark haired man looked at me from where he was talking to what looked like one of the new teenaged recruits. The young recruit was dismissed and Teran walked over to Gimli and me.

"Good afternoon, Natalie. May I ask why you are here? I was under the impression you were…under house arrest, as you put it." Teran asked, raising an eyebrow.

"Technically I'm not supposed to be going anywhere alone. And I'm not. Teran, I would like to introduce you to my friend Gimli, son of Gloin and member of the Fellowhsip of the Ring. Gimli, this is Teran, Captain of the Guard." I responded.

"It is an honor to meet you, my lord." Teran stated, bowing.

"Likewise for you. And there's no need for you to call me lord. I've been told you are a friend of Natalie's, and any friend of hers is a friend of mine. The same goes for her enemies, which brings me to my next point. Weren't you the lad who arrested that Seobryn fellow a few days back?" Gimli asked. Teran nodded.

"Indeed I was. He is imprisoned at the moment and awaiting a trial for his crimes. King Elessar has informed us that he will need to inform members of Minas Tirith's more noble families that they will need to be present for the trial within the next week or two." Teran replied. I nodded.

"Which brings us full circle to your original question, Teran. I'm here because I'd like to practice with my sword, and for the first time in a long time, Seobryn won't be here to make snide comments or try to stop me." I added, smiling triumphantly. Teran and Gimli immediately burst into laughter, and I joined them after a moment. "Also, when did Aragorn tell you this? I wasn't informed!" I inquired.

"I may have overheard a discussion King Elessar had with Queen Arwen on the subject as I passed by the Great Hall this morning." Teran told me, smiling slyly. I raised an eyebrow and Gimli snickered. "I was informed that there is to be a council meeting tomorrow on the topic, and was told to pass the message on to you." he continued. I nodded.

"So, you eavesdropped then, did you?" Gimli asked. Teran nodded and Gimli began laughing again.

"Enough of this; you did not come here to gossip with me. What say you to taking this to the sparring ring?" Teran asked. I grinned and Teran and I entered said sparring ring with Gimli standing on the sidelines.

"I would watch out if I were you, lad. I have seen Natalie in battle and she is not to be trifled with." Gimli called to Teran.

"I too have seen her in battle, and I shall take my chances." Teran replied, giving me a look that challenged me to prove him wrong. I smiled at the familiarity of the friendly competition with him. Challenge accepted. I thought.

"If this is you trying to trash talk, Teran, I can only say that you have a lot to learn. I accept your challenge, however." I replied, grinning.

Teran returned the expression and I swung my sword at him. Teran blocked my strike and fanned my sword down, using the momentum of my swing to push it away from him. I then swung back towards Teran's head. Teran ducked and swung at my legs. I jumped to avoid the strike and took a stab at Teran's ribs as he stood back up. We sparred for a while, the only sounds being the ring of our swords and Gimli's occasional comment or bark of laughter.

Eventually, Teran disarmed me and knocked me backwards. Leaning back on my hands, I swept Teran's legs out from under him. Both of us ended up on the ground and Gimli chuckled again, looking between us and shaking his head. Teran helped me up and the three of us went our separate ways, Teran to go talk to Mynnyn and Caruryn about the meeting tomorrow, and Gimli and I back towards my room.

~~~~~meep~~~~~meep~~~~~meep~~~~~

I woke up very early the next morning and was entirely prepared to roll over and go back to sleep when I realized I had a council meeting to be present at. With a frustrated groan, I hauled myself out of bed and got dressed, still half asleep and hoping the clothes I'd put on at least matched. Suddenly remembering that I'd been meaning to ask Aragorn about the idea Olympia and Kate had had for a Thanksgiving in Gondor, I sifted through Olympia's letters until I found the one proposing the idea and took it with me.

Despite the early hour, Minas Tirith already buzzed with activity. Merchants were setting up shop for the day; the dwarves of Erebor were already at work rebuilding Minas Tirith's gates, a few children already bounded through the streets, and I could have sworn I heard dogs barking somewhere. I smiled to myself as I looked around, walking quickly towards where council meetings usually took place.

When I arrived, Aragorn, Faramir, and, surprisingly Arwen, were already in the council room. I smiled at all of them and took my seat, which had been moved to the one next to Arwen.

"Good morning." I greeted everyone.

"Good morning Natalie. How are you this day?" Arwen replied. I sighed heavily and gave my friend a tired smile.

"I'm alright. Better than I've been but…still not one hundred percent." I replied.

"That is understandable, all things considered." Faramir commented. I nodded in response.

Soon enough, Teran, Mynnyn, and Caruryn arrived and sat down. An ominous sort of silence hung over the room as everyone took notice of Seobryn's empty seat. It seemed like an unspoken omen; this is what we would be discussing, and it would most certainly not be fun.

"I am certain you all realize that we are missing a council member this morning." Aragorn began, his voice slightly more grave than usual. "I am also certain you have heard of Lord Seobryn's being marked as an enemy of the realm, and his subsequent arrest. I realize you have questions, and this meeting is held both to answer them and to decide what is to be done for it." Aragorn added, looking around the table at each of us.

"It came to our attention not long ago that Lord Seobryn had made an attempt on Lady Natalie's life during an orc hunt, with the intention of making her death look to be an accident. Lady Natalie was injured and has since healed. The gravity of such an attempt, however, has not left our minds and we have agreed that the situation must be dealt with." Arwen spoke, her voice betraying her anger.

Mynnyn and Caruryn both gave me concerned looks. When I first became Aragorn's chief advisor, they had been understandably wary of me. But since then, we warmed up to each other and became friends. I nodded towards them both, silently telling them that I was alright.

"While I understand Lord Seobryn's…contempt towards Lady Natalie and understand his apprehension to a certain and very vague degree, I have one question." Mynnyn spoke up after a moment of heavy, awkward silence.

"What do you wish to ask?" Arwen inquired, her voice taking on a much more gentle tone than it had when she talked about Seobryn.

"What would prompt Lord Seobryn to make an attempt on Lady Natalie's life?" he asked. The room fell silent again.

"I believe the cause of Lord Seobryn's actions to be a combination of disdain towards Lady Natalie, an extreme aversion to the, admittedly a bit frightening, changes in Gondor recently, inflated and misplaced pride, and anger in the fact that she is in the position he occupied under the rule of the late Steward of Gondor, Lord Denethor." Aragorn answered.

"The question now, is what to do now that such a situation has come to light." Faramir added.

"It is rather obvious that something must be done, as the city guards have arrested and imprisoned him." Teran stated.

"I agree. I have already contacted the noble families the previous steward kept in contact with, calling on them to be present at a trial for Lord Seobryn." Aragorn responded.

"What is the date for the trial?" Caruryn and I chorused.

"The date has been set for one week from today. That should give us enough time to be sure everything is in order." Arwen replied. I nodded.

"What exactly is going to happen at the trial?" I asked.

"Lord Seobryn shall be brought before this council, in addition to the nobles we have contacted. The charges will be stated and then you shall have to tell your tale to the council, Natalie, in testimony against him." Aragorn told me. I took a deep breath, nodding slightly.

"For the sake of appearances, Lord Seobryn shall be given a chance to defend himself. However I believe that by then all the council will be convinced of his guilt. Following the trial, Lord Seobryn will be imprisoned for the remainder of his natural life." Arwen continued.

I blanched internally at the venom in her voice. She's really pissed…And making no attempt to hide that fact. I knew there was a reason I liked her. I nodded in response, telling them I understood what I needed to do.

The meeting was dismissed soon after, once all the details had been settled. Mynnyn and Caruryn left almost immediately, after Mynnyn shot me another concerned look. Faramir bowed slightly to Aragorn and Arwen before he left. Teran patted my shoulder, trying to give me courage before he too, was gone.

I took Olympia's letter from where it had been in my lap the whole meeting and put it out on the table. I then leaned back and closed my eyes for a minute, trying desperately to collect myself and fend off the wave of panic and anxiety that had crashed in on me. Arwen looked at the letter and raised an eyebrow.

"There was something else I wanted to talk to you about; I just didn't want to do it while everyone else was here." I started.

"What do you wish to speak of?" Aragorn asked.

"A while ago, Olympia sent me a letter, proposing an idea that she and her sister had while Kate was still staying in Mirkwood. Kate lives in Rivendell now=." I stated, unsure of whether or not they knew.

"What was this idea of theirs? From what I have heard, and what I know of them, they are capable of conjuring some…interesting ideas." Arwen said, trying not to smile. I snickered.

"With all due respect, interesting doesn't even begin to cover it. But I'm getting off topic. Olympia wanted to know if we could all, meaning all of the Fellowship and possibly Cellyn, get together and celebrate Thanksgiving. She wanted to celebrate it here, that way we'd get to see you." I stated, looking pointedly at Aragorn.

"I would very much like to see them again, hopefully before Olympia and Legolas are to be married. I do not think having them as guests would be an issue. What is this Thanksgiving you speak of?" Aragorn replied.

"I agree. It would do all of us good to see our friends again. Though I am also curious as to the, apparently upcoming, wedding. When were Legolas and Olympia betrothed?" Arwen asked.

"You didn't know? Aragorn! I thought you would have told her! Olympia sent me a letter last week, saying that Legolas asked her to marry him. Obviously she said yes, and they're engaged now. No one knows when the ceremony is, though if I had to guess, I'd say sometime in the winter because it's Olympia's favorite season. Anyway! Thanksgiving is a holiday where we're from, where family gather to give thanks for all the good things we've been blessed with. It's usually in late November, and the date Olympia and Kate came up with is November 28th." I answered. Arwen gave Aragorn an incredulous look, to which I laughed.

"I believe that this idea of Thanksgiving would be good for all of us, and we would be honored to host such a gathering here." Aragorn stated.

"Yes. Now, if we could return to the subject of Legoals and Olympia's betrothal...I would ask that you send the couple my regards and congratulations. I look forward to seeing them again and would very much like to know when the ceremony is, if they have found a suitable date for it as of yet." Arwen continued.

I snickered slightly and told her I would do just that, before leaving and heading back to my rooms. Once there, I flung open the windows for some light. Looking out, I pondered everything that had happened in the last few weeks, and with a foreboding feeling in the back of my mind, the events the next few weeks would come. Shaking my head, I pushed my ominous thoughts aside and smiled to myself. For now, I had a letter to write.

Author's Note: I haven't got a lot to say here, other than that some serious shit is about to hit the fan. You can all expect Seobryn's trial to be within the next few chapters, because I have some rather exciting things planned with that whole thing. I know that a lot of you have been requesting more about Kate and Lindir, and they'll be back pretty soon too. And don't think I've forgotten about the issue of orcs (still) in Mirkwood…So there's some interesting stuff coming up. Read and Review please!