A Maiden of Faith - Chapter 2

"Are you well?" The young man stopped and steadied her. Katrina was disoriented and confused. Why was she here? And why was she a `lost maiden' ?

"Hannon le, but no. I'm dreadfully sorry, sir, but I am only twenty-four. I didn't lose a lover." She nodded to him as he supported her. He had been taken aback by her knowledge of the Elven tongue. However little it was...

"You know Elvish? Well aren't you just full of surprises. I didn't say a lover, I meant any one who was close, such as your father, or older brother. But seeing as to how you are to young for the War of the Ring, I suppose you lost no one. Even a grandfather would have been, too, old to fight." He shrugged, so she wasn't one of the weary. Then who was she?

"Excuse me, but what is your name? And I know very little Elvish, just tidbits." Katrina was getting tired with all of the stairs. She had not worn the proper shoes to climb up the steps, flip-flops just didn't cut it.

"You may call me Mellon." He smiled at her again. She had not received a straight answer, but it would do.

"Very well, Mellon nîn. How long to the throne room? My feet are killing me!" She groaned and let out a small gasp.

"Lady! When I asked if you were well and you said no, you should have specified you were dying!" He swept her up off her feet. Running up the tiers, he feared for her life. She only sighed and realized she would have to be very specific...

*************

The guards dressed in silver armor that guarded the throne room were standing still. They watched the young man approach, but waited to see what he was doing. It was odd to see him carrying a maiden, a very strange maiden at that!

"Open the doors, fools! The lady is fading!" The man cried as he ran by the white tree of Gondor.

Startled the guards shoved the doors open. One announced, "My Lord, Eldarion."

Katrina opened her eyes wide. Eldarion? Son of Aragorn and Arwen? Was it possible?

"Out of my way!" The Prince shoved passed the guard and slowed to a quick stride before stopping before his father. He dropped to one knee and lay her down on the hard stone floor. "Father, she is passing!"

Aragorn leapt down the stairs, his feet skipping every other step. He knelt beside his son. An expression of amazement came across his face. How odd she appeared! Then, to his horror, she jumped up.

"I'm fine! I just... Oh, never mind!" She adjusted her books in the crook of her arm, and her pen was clutched in her fingers.

"Lady, if you are ill, it is best if we solve the problem now." Aragorn urged her to tell them what was wrong. He was concerned, she was delirious he decided.

"No, I'm just fine. I'm not ill, or sick, or hurt. My feet were just sore. Though, when your son decided to carry me, I must admit it eased the pain. Now, leave me alone." She shook her hair out, as it was wind blown.

The two got up, shocked by her abruptness. "I will go back to my post. I was only doing the Lady Eowyn's bidding, Father." Eldarion bowed to the maiden and then his father.

"Thank you." Aragorn nodded his thanks to his departing son.

"Oh, yes, thank you for being so concerned!" Katrina slumped down onto the ground, her Bible cradled in her arms with her notebook.

"Lady? What is your name?" He sat beside her, his eyes searching her. She looked downtrodden. Hurt? Frightened? Lost?

"Katrina, you can call me Katrina." She blinked as she looked down at the Bible, as if questioning it.

"I am honored to meet you. You may call me Aragorn, or Elessar, if you wish. But I have many names." He smiled at her, but she didn't see it, she was oblivious to everything but his voice. Her eyes were focused on her book.

"Thank you, Aragorn." Her voice was no more than a whisper. A tear fell down her cheek. Why was she here?

"Are you from Bree, my dear? I've never seen the young woman there dress this way, but I have not been there for quite some time..." He took her hand and stroked it. The tear had not gone unnoticed, but he felt it best to act like he hadn't seen it.

"No. I'm not from here at all. I'm from America. But you don't know what that is. So, never mind. I'll just say I'm not from here." She brushed the tear away. Her books lay in her lap, the leather of the Bible cracked and the cover of the notebook torn. "Not from here at all..."

"I see..." It was a lie, but a necessary one. "How did you come to be in Gondor, Katrina?"

"I- I don't know." She looked up. How had she gotten here? "I was wading in the stream on my parents' land while I sang. My eyes were closed, and when I opened them, I was here. In the shallows of the Anduin."

"Then you came by sea. By the river." He looked away, pondering what this meant.

"I guess..." Pulling her hand from his, she pushed herself up, clutching her books to her chest and holding her pen between her teeth. She strode about, her flip-flops smacking the floor.

"What is that?" Aragorn rose and stood there, still and in wonder.

"What?" She looked down, she had removed her pen and was carrying it in her pocket. "Oh, my shoes, sorry." Her laughter was beautiful, clear as water, sweet as honey.

He didn't say anything. She was nearly as tall as he was! In her he could sense a scared little girl, hidden under her maturity and loveliness. A delicate flower which was straining for sunlight, absorbing it rapidly, thirsty for water, drinking it in hungrily. She was fragile, and hurt. It pained him to see this, no matter how oddly she appeared. And yet, she was level headed, strong and meek at the same time. Lovely, yet treacherous. A mystery to his understanding. What he would give to have Galadriel here! Perhaps the morning would bring new hope. A stronger understanding of this river maiden. This Duinwen...

**Translations**
Hannon le ~ Thank you
Mellon ~ Friend
Mellon nîn ~ My Friend


*AUTHOR'S NOTE*
From my understanding, it was several years after the War of the Ring that Galadriel left. Am I correct in believing that in the book, Celeborn did not go to Valinor? I believe that in the end of the RotK that he was left to wander the lands of Middle Earth alone and lived with the sons of Elrond. Correct me if I'm wrong. And just for your info, I didn't agree with the part in the movie version of TTT that Haldir should die. So, in my story, the elves did assist the Rohirim at Helm's Deep. But, Haldir didn't die, that was way too sad and drastic. He lives! Sorry! This `note' became a short story in and of itself. Hope you enjoyed it!! (The chapter, not the note!)

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