A Daughter of the King - Chapter Thirteen

Mandy sighed to herself as they rode on. They rode through Fanghorn. Treebeard found them and walked alongside while their horse galloped swiftly, talking with both of them.

"How are you, elf-wen?" Treebeard asked.

"Good, and you, Treebeard?" Mandy answered, keeping Ilma close by him.

"Good also." he hroomed, "but I fear the time for the ents is ending." Mandy listened, feeling sorry for him.

"I am sorry, Treebeard. But Aarien and I have to go to Gondor with all possible speed. Her parents are waiting." Elrohir said.

"I understand." Treebeard nodded, "Come back again, elf-wen, and we will wander in these woods of mine."

"I will do that." Mandy smiled.

They urged their horses faster, speeding towards Gondor. They soon came into view of the city. Mandy took a deep breath, as they rested for the last time.

"Are you nervous, Aarien?" Elrohir asked, handing her a piece of lembas.

"Yes, I am." she laughed a little, "I am not the same."

"Do not worry. They will love you even if you are elf." Elrohir helped her up onto Ilma.

"I know." Mandy smiled down at him, "Hanta le."

She wore the circlet. Her bow was across her back, and her sword was around her waist. She pulled her hood up, concealing her features. From all outward appearances, she seemed to be just another elf traveling with her brother.
Mandy looked fondly on Minas Tirith, thinking about her life just starting there. The gates swung open, and people openly stared at the two elves. Many strange things had been happening since Aragorn became king, one of which was all the elves that came to visit. Mandy and Elrohir made quite a picture, riding in on Lothlorien horses with swords around their waist and bows across their backs.

"Elrohir." Gandalf appeared from a crowd, "And who is this?"

"Gandalf." Mandy laughed softly.

"Mandy? Is that you, Child?" Gandalf peered at her, "Let me see your face."

Mandy slowly drew the hood down. People all around stared at the fairness and royalty of the elf. She seemed to give off light and was full of joy. The circlet shone out on her red hair.

"This cannot be Mandy?!" Gandalf gasped aloud, "What magic is this?"

"Laa kuru, Mithrandir. Er Iluvitar (*No magic, Mithrandir. Only Iluvitar*)." Mandy answered, pulling her hood up.

"Strange things are at work...does Aragorn know?" Gandalf turned to Elrohir.

Elrohir shook his head, "He will find out just as you have."

Gandalf just looked at her, thinking. Mandy guided her horse through the streets, ignoring the looks given her. She smiled once, down at a young girl who gazed up at Mandy in awe. They reached the palace and dismounted. A stable boy took the horses and looked questioningly after the elves. They walked into the palace.

"Maybe you should wait out here..." Elrohir mentioned.

Mandy nodded and stood in the shadows, while Elrohir went into the throne room. She looked at the halls that were familiar to her now. Suddenly, the sound of racing feet came down the hall. She turned as she saw the hobbits. They raced past her, then realized that she was there. They came back towards her, shyly.

"Greetings, M'lady." Frodo said, bowing to her. Mandy nodded, knowing that if she spoke they would recognize her voice instantly.

"e mammen uy le tulya? (*From where do you come?*)" Frodo asked.

"Amin tulya e Lothlorien (*I come from Lothlorien*)." she answered softly.

"Lothlorien?" Merry said, "Ask her if she knows Mandy and if she's coming home yet."

Frodo turned to Mandy, when she said, "I do know of Mandy. She left the day before yesterday, early morn."

"You can understand the Common Tongue?" Frodo said, surprised.

"Yes, I understand it." Mandy laughed softly to herself, "My name is Aarien." Merry blushed, because he was about ready to ask that.

"Aarien...that is a pretty name. What does it mean?" Sam asked, blushing a little.

"Sun-Maiden." Mandy smiled. Just then, Elrohir walked back out.

"Aarien. Aragorn wishes to see you now." he said, smiling at the hobbits. She walked gracefully into the throne room.
Frodo stared after her, "I know her somehow...but I know no one by Aarien." He watched her.

Mandy took a deep breath, standing in the shadows, calming her nerves.

"Lady Aarien, M'lord." the guard announced. Aragorn nodded for her to come forward.

"Here goes nothing. Give me strength, Iluvitar." she thought silently, careful to keep her face concealed. She walked gracefully and silently as an elf. Aragorn gazed at the strange elf with hooded face.

"Lady, Lord Elrohir said that you knew of my daughter, Mandy..." Aragorn stated, standing up.

"Yes, I know of her. She is most anxious to see you again and to tell you that she loves you." Mandy affirmed.

"Where is she? She should have come back with Elrohir." Aragorn asked, almost angrily.

"Lord Aragorn, it is not..." Elrohir was about ready to defend himself when Mandy put up a hand.

"M'lord, it is not Elrohir's fault." Mandy threw back the hood, "I asked him not to say anything." Aragorn stared at her, hardly believing his own eyes.

"You are not Mandy? You are an elf..." he was shocked.

"I am Mandy. On the way to Lothlorien with Legolas, I was still upset and ran into Fanghorn. I cried out to God and dreamed. When I woke, Treebeard had found me, and I was an elf...ears and all," she smiled, touching her ears, "but I swear to you, Lord Aragorn, I am Mandy." Arwen came down to her.

She gazed at her, "Lle Mandy. (*You are Mandy.*)" and hugged her.

Aragorn shook his head as he came towards her, "You are changed drastically, Selde."

"I know, Ada, I know." she smiled, "And I will accept your proposal. I would be most honored to be your daughter for as long as Iluvitar wishes me here."

Aragorn glanced her over, "You have sword, bow, and quiver of Lothlorien arrows. Can you use them?"

"Yes, I can. If you don't believe me, ask Elrohir or Legolas." she said, a little insulted. Aragorn laughed, eyes sparkling.
"Nay, I will not ask. I believe you." he guided her to a seat next to him.

The hobbits burst in, "Where is Mandy?" "That's not her!" "Quiet you! It is her!" the voices blended until Aragorn raised his hands.

"Yes, this is Mandy. Now come and talk to her." he told them.

They surged forward, asking questions. Mandy met Aragorn's eyes and shrugged. She allowed herself to be dragged into the garden, where she would have to tell stories about her trip to Lothlorien.

"She is no mere mortal, Arwen. What matter of person is she?" Aragorn mused, arm around Arwen.

"Mayhap she is appearing as she really is, Estel." Arwen answered, fiddling with his hair.

"But she would be a mere infant in elf years, yet she has the appearance of a woman." Aragorn smiled, "I have a feeling Legolas will be coming soon."

"I agree." Arwen smiled at the memory of her meeting with Estel.

Mandy sat down on a bench in the garden.

"Why'd you say your name was Aarien?" "How'd you become an elf?" "Was the Lady Galadriel as beautiful as ever?" "Did you fight anyone?" were some of the questions all the hobbits asked.

"If you be quiet, I will try to answer your questions." Mandy shouted over the din. Suddenly, all was hushed.

"Thank you, now I will attempt to answer your questions." she fingered her sword, "And no interrupting!"

Thirty long minutes later, she was walking stealthily in the garden, her eyes on the lookout for certain young hobbits who were thinking up new questions to bombard her with.

"Whew...they are just like six year olds!" she sat on a bench that was somewhat hidden from the path, "I miss Lothlorien. I wonder where Legolas is."

"I wonder where Mandy disappeared to? It's not fair that she's an elf! Now she can disappear almost completely!"

Mandy's ears caught the grumbling of Merry and Pippin. She silently leaped into the tree and climbed high. They came wandering into the clearing she had just been. They sprawled out on the grass.

"I'm glad she is back." Merry sighed.

"Me too. She's fun..." Pippin agreed, his thoughts elsewhere.

"You are thinking of Diamond again!" Merry teased.

"So what if I am? At least I have a girl to think about!" Pippin retorted angrily, tackling Merry.

"What do you mean? I have a girl to think about!" Merry roared back at him.

"Oh yeah? Who?" Pippin asked, pinning Merry to the ground.

Mandy laughed softly to herself. She slipped out of the tree and stole softly into the trees.

"Mandy!" Merry yelled from the ground.

"What?! Mandy can't be your girl, she's an..." Pippin protested.

"NO! She's going into the trees!" Merry snapped. Pippin looked up just to see Mandy disappear into the trees.

"We'll never catch her. She's an elf! And forests are their specialty! Especially after Lothlorien." Pippin groaned, letting
Merry up.

"C'mon then. We can at least try!" Merry raced after her. Pippin rolled his eyes and ran to catch up with him.

Mandy hurried softly through the trees.

"I won't be able to avoid them for very long..." she mused, looking for any kind of hiding place, "I wonder..."
She crept through a dense part of the garden. Suddenly, she heard the sound of people talking. She leaned closer and saw two soldiers talking. She smiled, an idea striking her. She stood, brushed off her pants, and walked over to them. They looked up and came to attention.

"Hello." she said.

"Good-day, Lady Aarien." one of them answered.

"I was wondering where the training fields are." she asked.

"I will take you, M'lady." the guard offered.

"Thank you." she followed him, "Oh yes, tell the hobbits where I've gone. They're following me."

The other guard smiled and nodded. Mandy caught up with the guard and started chatting. They soon came to the fields.

***Author's Note***
hi, not too much of a cliffie this time i hope you liked this chapter! i'll talk to you guys later!!

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