An Aussie in King Aragorn's Court Part 6 - Coralie teaches the hobbits Y.M.C.A.

Coralie and Boromir headed back into the camp with Legolas not far behind. Aragorn signaled him over.

"I trust that you found everything in order Legolas", he asked deliberately.

"In truth I cannot say. My instincts tell me that something was amiss between the two of them, yet the Lady was unharmed." Legolas replied looking over Aragorn's shoulder to where Coralie was now busy rolling up her sleeping bag. Even from this distance he could see that her hands were shaking.

"Some harm cannot be seen so easily as a bruise upon the skin." Gandalf said pointedly.

"You are right Gandalf," agreed Legolas "I sensed some fear in her, although she hid it well. I doubt that any would have noticed save elf."

"Or ranger."

"Or wizard, for that matter," countered Gandalf and Aragorn one after the other. Aragorn turned in frustration towards Gandalf.

"This complicates matters Gandalf. It is not right that she should be here. She is a woman and not suited to this task. I wish that she had come before we left Rivendell. `Twould have been better for both her and us to have left her there in Elrond's care. I would have her safe," said Aragorn.

"And I would have her safe too Aragorn," replied Gandalf placing a hand on Aragorn's shoulder. "I agree with you. She should not be here, and yet she is. It is obvious that our Lady here is not a native of Middle Earth, but comes to us from another place and time altogether. I do believe that she spoke truthfully about coming to us from the future."

"I know that you are right Gandalf, but why her? Why now? If we needed some help from the future, why didn't the Valar send us some great warrior who could aid us in our task and not some maiden without strength? It would also help to have someone who could remember what happens to us on our quest!" Aragorn was clearly exasperated.

"Oh she has strength, Aragorn. But not of the kind you would seek. I am sure that there is more to her than meets the eye." said Gandalf.

"Yes, and what meets the eye is obviously pleasant," replied Legolas. "Twould seem that Boromir thinks so as well, though that is not to my liking." He cast one suspicious eye in Boromir's direction.

Gandalf and Aragorn both looked at Legolas questioning his last statement. They waited expectantly for him to say more. He was looking beyond them, almost lost in some recent memory. Presently, Gandalf took up the thread of the conversation again.

"I do not know or understand the purposes of the Valar in sending her here amongst us. Whether it be for good or ill, to aid our quest in some large or small way (which she has already done, on the slopes of Caradhras by the way), or whether the purpose has neither to do with us nor the ring bearer......... I cannot say. But I will say this....... Whatever it is, I am indeed glad of her company." He looked around at the various members of the company now gathering their belongings together for the road ahead. Lastly, he looked at the elf and the man who stood before him and sniffed the air. "The lady was absolutely right about too much testosterone! She has lightened my heart and my senses....if you get my meaning.....Ah! I smell strawberries." And with that he strode off, staff in hand towards her.

Aragorn and Legolas stood for a moment with jaws agape.

"If I didn't know that was Gandalf among us, I'd say he's completely lost his mind!" said Aragorn with frustration.

Legolas laughed and cuffed his shoulder. "Or his heart!"

"You don't think....." Aragorn looked at Legolas.

"No ....he wouldn't ...." Legolas looked straight back at his friend.

"He couldn't...." Aragorn tried to sound confident.

"Couldn't what?" Pippin had snuck up next to them without their knowing.

"How long have you been there?" They both looked down at him accusingly.

"Not long!" replied Pippin. "I thought you were talking about Gandalf. What can't he do? I thought he could do everything?"

"Never mind Pippin. Look Gandalf is calling us over to him." They walked off leaving Pippin standing there scratching his head. He would never understand the ways of big folk.

"What did I say?"

"Lady Coralie. I trust that you are quite refreshed for the journey before us?" enquired Gandalf noting her still wet hair as he leant in her direction. "Ah!" he thought to himself. "That is strawberries I can smell!" he noted the bottle of Strawberry Milkshake shampoo on the ground amongst her things. She was busy getting ready for the trek ahead and had dressed in black leggings and a buttercup yellow t-shirt. Coralie looked up at him enquiringly.

"Remarkable!" he thought to himself. Her eyes look so blue against that yellow shirt of hers." He was still standing there, leaning on his staff smiling down at her.

"Gandalf?" she asked, waiting for his reply.

He heard the footfall of the others and came to his senses.

"Ahem! With your pardon Coralie, we are going to have a meeting about the path we should take today. I have already told Aragorn, Legolas, and of course you my Dear, of my plans. Now I must tell the others and see what the Ring Bearer decides. We must take counsel together before we go further....... By your leave?"

They all looked at Gandalf, amazed that he had so readily taken her into his confidence.

"Sure thing." She replied, standing up to adjust her Clie player on her waist band, ear phones in hand. "I have to work out anyway. Don't mind me." She placed the ear phones on her head and turned to make the final adjustments to her pack, strapping on her skis.

The Fellowship walked over towards the smoldering embers of the camp fire.

"What does she have to work out Gandalf?" asked Frodo as he walked beside him.

"I don't know Frodo," Gandalf replied. "Perhaps you can ask her later."

They stood in a circle, waiting for Gandalf to speak.

"Frodo. We must decide upon the course we shall now take. We cannot go back and attempt the pass of Caradhras again. The Enemy will be watching the pass closely now and I also suspect any path that will take us around the mountain."

"What do you propose Gandalf? If we cannot go over the mountain and the path around is blocked..... are we to go back to Rivendell?" asked Frodo in return.

Pippin's face brightened visibly at the mere mention of return to Rivendell; Merry and Sam looked up hopefully. Aragorn and Legolas stood silently by. Frodo looked troubled.

"I wish I was back there," he said. "But how can I return without shame - unless there is indeed no other way, and we are already defeated?"

"You are right Frodo", said Gandalf: to go back is to admit defeat and face worse defeat to come. If we go back now, then the ring must remain there: we shall not be able to set out again. Then sooner or later Rivendell will be besieged, and after a brief and bitter time will be destroyed."

"Then we must go on, if there is a way," said Frodo with a sigh. Sam sank back into gloom.

"There is a way that we may attempt," said Gandalf. "I thought from the beginning, when I first considered this journey, that we should try it. But it is not a pleasant way. Aragorn was against it until the pass over the mountains had at least been tried."

"If it is a worse road than the Redhorn Gate, then it must be evil indeed," said Merry. "But you had better tell us about it, and let us know the worst at once."

"The road I speak of leads to the Mines of Moria," said Gandalf. Only Gimli lifted up his head; a smoldering fire was in his eyes. On all the others a dread fell at the mention of that name. Even to the hobbits it was a legend of vague fear.

"It is a name of ill omen," said Boromir. "Nor do I see the need to go there. If we cannot cross the mountains, let us journey southwards, until we come to the Gap of Rohan....Or we might pass by and cross the Isen into Langstrand and Lebennin, and so come to Gondor from the regions nigh the sea."

"Things have changed since you came north, Boromir," answered Gandalf. "Did you not hear what I told you of Saruman? With him I may have business of my own ere all is over. But the Ring must not come near Isengard, if that can by any means be prevented. The Gap of Rohan is closed to us while we go with the Bearer."

"To enter Moria would be to walk into a trap, hardly better than knocking at gates of the Dark Tower itself. The name of Moria is black."

"You speak of what you do not know, when you liken Moria to the stronghold of Sauron, Boromir." answered Gandalf. "But I would not lead you into Moria if there were no hope of coming out again. If there are Orcs there, it may prove ill for us, that is true. But most of the Orcs of the Misty Mountains were scattered or destroyed in the Battle of Five Armies. The Eagles report that Orcs are gathering again from afar; but there is a hope that Moria is still free. There is a chance that Dwarves are there, and that in some deep hall of his fathers, Balin son of Fundin may be found. However, it may prove, one must tread the path that need chooses!"

"I will tread the path with you, Gandalf!" said Gimli. "I will go and look on the halls of Durin, whatever may wait there - if you can find the doors that are shut."

"Good, Gimli!" said Gandalf. "You encourage me. We will seek the hidden doors together. And we will come through. In the ruins of the Dwarves, a dwarf's head will be less easy to bewilder than Elves or Men or Hobbits."

The hobbits said nothing. Sam looked at Frodo. At last Frodo spoke. I do not wish to go," he said; "but neither do I wish to refuse the advice of Gandalf. We shall go through the Mines of Moria."

At these words all fell into silent thought. Their quiet reflection was suddenly interrupted by singing.

"Y.M.C.A. It's fun to stay at the Y.M.C.A." Coralie had her back to them and was some distance away under the trees. She appeared to be dancing, although this was a dance they had never seen the likes of before. Her arms were waving above her head one minute and the next she was bending at the waist and then standing up again. Clearly, she was listening to something on her head phones and was singing along, oblivious to all around her. Suddenly she leaped up onto an overhanging tree limb above her and started pulling herself up to chin height in a repetitive motion. She was counting.

"What is she doing?" queried Pippin.

"I don't know Pip...Let's go take a closer look," answered Merry as they ran over to the clearing. Sam and Frodo just looked at each other and shrugged, following closely behind. Gandalf laughed delightedly, glad to have something to amuse him after such dark counsel. Aragorn and Legolas looked at each other with eyebrows raised behind his back.

"Come," said Gandalf. "Let's investigate this new mystery. Very amusing....." His voice trailed off as he walked away. Aragorn and Legolas just sighed and followed in his wake with Boromir and Gimli in tow.

They all stood now, a little distance away from Coralie in a semi circle. None knew what to make of what she was doing. She had counted to 50 whils't pulling herself up into the tree with her arms. Clearly, she had no idea she had gathered such an audience. Her back was still towards them and by now she had landed back on the soft earth and appeared to be stretching out her limbs. There was a trail of sweat down the back of her shirt. She was stretching over at the waist quite slowly arms outstretched. The hobbits were involuntarily bending with her. She leaned forward to touch her toes. Aragorn coughed as she did so, trying to alert them to her presence. Boromir had a foolish grin spread across his face, his head was tilted to the side following her every move. Legolas pushed passed him. He stood at the front of the company arms folded across his chest.

"It is plain to my sight that the Lady cannot hear us at present and would deserve some privacy. It is not seemly for grown men to be standing here gawping at her for their own amusement." His eyes narrowed and focused on Boromir as he spoke.

"Amusement? I would call it something else entirely!" laughed Boromir. He could see that Legolas did not share the joke. "Very well." he conceded walking away. Gimli followed talking to himself as he trailed his axe in the dust. Gandalf gathered up the hobbits.

"Legolas is right boys. I know you mean no harm and that this is a new thing to see, for all of us actually....but, it would be unchivalrous for us to remain here in this position especially as the lady is not aware of our presence."

"She said she was going to work out," said Frodo looking up at Gandalf as he led them away. "Do you think that is what she mean't?"

Aragorn looked at Legolas and shook his head. "Right, I will leave this part up to you alright? This is no work for a ranger."

"But you are Aragorn son of Arathorn. You are no mere ranger. You are the rightful king of Gondor! As a woman and a member of your race, she is subject to you!" protested Legolas.

Aragorn held up his hands to ward him off. He had never seen the elf flustered before. "Yes and if you remember, she is the great, great grand daughter of some nobleman from France. For all I know, she could be my great, great grand daughter somewhere down the line if she really does come from the future as Gandalf think, and I don't wish to cross swords with her."

"But, but..." Legolas was completely lost for words. He had a resigned look on his face.

Aragorn laughed heartily and slapped Legolas on the shoulder as he departed. "You're a better man than I, my friend. Perhaps there is ice in your veins after all." He strode off laughing after the others who were by now getting ready to depart on the next leg of their journey.

"Perhaps not," muttered Legolas to himself as he looked at Coralie who was now sitting cross legged on the grass in front of him. He walked as silently as only an elf can up beside her. She appeared to have her eyes closed and was singing softly with the music in her ears.


Imagine there's no heaven
It's easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us only sky
Imagine all the people
living for today

Imagine there's no countries
It isn't hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people
Living life in peace

You may say I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope someday you'll join us
And the world will be as one

Imagine no possessions
I wonder if you can
No need for greed nor hunger
A brotherhood of man
Imagine all the people
Sharing all the world

You may say I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope someday you'll join us
And the world will live as one

Legolas listened quietly drinking in the sound of her sweet, melodious voice. "She has more in common with us than she realizes." he thought to himself. Coralie sat very still with her eyes closed. Her breathing was soft and regular. Legolas noticed small beads of sweat across her brow and upper lip. She had obviously exerted herself, but she did not look to be in any physical distress. Still she sat. So still. He could hear very faintly the strains of music from her earphones.

"I wonder if that is Enya again?" he thought with a smile. He waited. "What can she be doing?"

His words were soft as he gently touched her shoulder.


She opened her eyes and turned to him with a serene smile upon her lips. The scent of strawberries hung in the air between them as soft as the morning.

"Hello Legolas. I was meditating."

"Meditating? That's almost Elvish!" he was more than a little surprised. He had never met a woman, a human quite like her before.

"Yeah! Well I wish I were an elf so I could have your skin mate!" she said patting him on his knee. "But since I'm obviously not and running on a time frame here, I'm going to put on some sunscreen." With that she jumped up and jogged back to her pack leaving Legolas sitting there alone on the grass.

Legolas mused to himself about her strange behaviour. He got up and followed her back. She was practically skipping. Legolas laughed to see such youthful abandon.

"She is obviously a woman and not a young maiden without experience, but she has a child like quality about her.... Perhaps she is more kindred to the hobbits in spite of her height." He mused as the hobbits rushed over to her at once.

"Coralie we want you to......" Pippin came screeching to a halt in front of her.

"What Pippin means to say," said Merry nudging him out of the way. He fell silent as the shadow of Legolas strode past him. "Is that... er... um," he suddenly looked quite bashful and kicked at the ground with his hobbity feet.

" I think, begging your pardon Lady, what Merry and Pippin are trying to say is that we would like to learn that dance you were doing earlier under the tree." asked Frodo

"Yeah! Whaddya call it?" asked Sam suddenly, surprised at his own eagerness.

Coralie threw back her head and laughed. "I was doing a work out boys!"

"See I knew that's what she mean't by work out after I saw her doing it!" Frodo nudged Sam.

"So....... You were watching me then?" she asked. The hobbits coughed and quickly looked around. The others were out of earshot making final preparations for the day's trek.

Pippin held up his hands. "No! No! Lady. We wouldn't spy on you or anything, would we lads?" he quickly gave sideways looks to the others who nodded enthusiastically in agreement.

"No! No! Nothing like that!" They chorused at once.

"Really?" Coralie said with a twinkle in her eye. "Then how do you know what I was doing exactly? The hobbits suddenly felt quite ashamed. They had been spying on this nice lady and now they were caught. They stuck their hands in their pockets and dug at the ground with their toes. Coralie laughed again.

"Don't sweat it boys. I couldn't care less. I will teach you if you like."

"OH! Yes Please!" The hobbits were radiant. Coralie proceeded to show them the accompanying movements for the chorus of YMCA and teach them the words.

"Look," she said. "I've got a better idea. Wait here." She went over and rummaged about in her pack whilst the hobbits continued to practice the movements. They loved to dance and this was something entirely new and fun to try. Before, this "ski queen" had come upon their path, they were weighed down by the burden of their hearts. Coralie walked over to them with two flat looking boxes.

"Right," she said. "These are speakers. Believe it or not, I can make the music come out of my little player here, for all to hear." The hobbits looked at her wide eyed as she attached them to the MP 3 player on the Clie. "Are you ready?"

They all nodded back at once in anticipation grinning from ear to ear. It was all she could do not to laugh out loud. They were so comical.

"Okay! Here we go!" she pressed play.

Aragorn and the others jumped around. True, they had listened to the little music box the night before, but this was different. The music reverberated through the little glen they occupied filling the corners that were empty but a moment before. There, over near the trees were Coralie and the hobbits dancing away and forming funny shapes with their bodies as she had done so earlier. Gimli let out a loud whoop! Boromir dropped his sword. They all began to laugh. Gandalf was wiping tears away from his eyes.

"Never in the lives of three hundred men....." he could barely speak from laughter.

"Well Legolas," laughed Aragorn. "She's entirely your responsibility. Perhaps you should learn this dance too." He was crying now.

"Listen. They are singing along!" countered Legolas. He was laughing hard and could barely get the words out.

On the air, they could hear tiny hobbit voices singing. "Y. M. C. A. It's fun to stay at the Y. M. C. A............."

Legolas and Aragorn looked at each other. "What are they singing?" chortled Boromir.

"Y M C A and something like `Young man...." Aragorn had tried to sing the tune which only served to send Legolas, Boromir and Gimli into more fits of laughter. Gandalf dabbed at his eyes.

"Come." said Gandalf still shaking with mirth. "We have a ways to go today before we reach the doors of Moria. I will collect my charges."

They were still chuckling as they made their way forward on the road. The hobbits kept singing "Young man!" and pointing at each other as they walked along, laughing hysterically. Gimli scuttled after Coralie. Looking up at her with a sideways glance he asked "Lady, do you think you could teach me that dance too?"

"Of course!" she grinned and skipped along the path in front of him.


Young man, there's no need to feel down
I said, young man, pick yourself off the ground
I said, young man, 'cause you're in a new town
There's no need to be unhappy

Young man, there's a place you can go
I said, young man, when you're short on your dough
You can stay there, and I'm sure you will find
Many ways to have a good time.

It's fun to stay at the Y.M.C.A.
It's fun to stay at the Y.M.C.A.
They have everything for young men to enjoy.
You can hang out with all the boys.

It's fun to stay at the Y.M.C.A.
It's fun to stay at the Y.M.C.A.
You can get yourself clean
You can have a good meal
You can do whatever you feel.

Young man, are you listening to me
I said, young man, what do you want to be
I said, young man, you can make real your dreams,
but you've got to know this one thing.

No man, does it all by himself
I said, young man, put your pride on the shelf
And just go there, to the Y.M.C.A.
I'm sure they can help you today

It's fun to stay at the Y.M.C.A.
It's fun to stay at the Y.M.C.A.
They have everything for young men to enjoy.
You can hang out with all the boys.

It's fun to stay at the Y.M.C.A.
It's fun to stay at the Y.M.C.A.
You can get yourself clean
You can have a good meal
You can do whatever you feel.

Young Man, I was once in your shoes,
I said, I was down and out with the blues
I felt, no man cared if I were alive
I felt the whole world was so jive

That's when someone came up to me
and said young man take a walk up the street
There's a place there called the Y.M.C.A.
They can start you back on your way.

It's fun to stay at the Y.M.C.A.
It's fun to stay at the Y.M.C.A.
They have everything for young men to enjoy.
You can hang out with all the boys.

It's fun to stay at the Y.M.C.A.
It's fun to stay at the Y.M.C.A.
Young man, Young man, there's no need to feel down
Young man, Young man, pick yourself off the ground

Just go to the Y.M.C.A.
Young Man, Young Man, I was once in your shoes,
Young Man, Young Man, I was out with the blues


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