Artanis Nerwen--Chapter Eight - A Queit Afternoon and Evening

Elrond was closeted in the Hall of Fire with the dwarves for many hours. Artanis and the hobbits spent most of the morning in her room, or watching Frodo. Then Artanis started sketches of each of them. After four hours, Artanis tired of drawing. 'Why don't we go on a walk again?' Sam asked; Merry looked at him. 'Why?' Pippin asked. Sam threw up his hands. 'Never mind. I just thought;' He stopped, when a bell rang three times. Artanis stood, hurriedly putting up her supplies. 'Supper time.' She said. Pippin started out the door while Merry tried to stop him.

Sam waited for Artanis, and then they walked down to the meal hall. Merry and Pippin were waiting for them. Artanis sat down in her normal seat. The hobbits sat down next to her, on her left side, while Lo and Më sat on her right. The supper was simple, as most meals in Imladris were. Artanis ate as much as she could, and the hobbits ate what she couldn't. When they were done Artanis stood, and quietly excused herself and them.

'Can we see Master Frodo now?' Sam asked, when they had reached her room. Artanis nodded, and walked in front of them into the recovery room. Bilbo was watching Frodo. When Artanis entered, he looked up, a solitary tear running down his face. Sam entered right behind Artanis, and glanced at Bilbo, then turned his full attention to his master. Merry and Pippin both went right to Bilbo, and began conversing softly with him in their piping voices.

Sam had climbed onto a chair, and was staring at Frodo, as if he was trying to find out what Frodo was dreaming at that precise moment. Artanis walked over, and put one hand on Sam's shoulder, trying to wordlessly assure him that Frodo would endure. It seemed to her that Frodo was shining, not brightly, but as if there was almost invisible fire kindled inside of him.

Sam looked at Bilbo, and almost broke into tears. Artanis walked into her room, and returned with a lit candle, for the daylight was hurriedly vanishing. An individual female voice drifted in from the courtyard. Artanis guessed that it was Evenstar, for she often sang in the evenings as the sun set. Her guess was confirmed when a male voice joined the song. Bilbo smiled at her, and Artanis walked to the window. She looked down, and saw Estel and Evenstar sitting near the fountain.

She turned to the hobbits. 'That's the signal for bed. You all have had a hard day. Go to sleep, I'll stay with Bilbo and watch Frodo.' Sam nodded, and Merry pulled Pippin into her room. Artanis heard them snuggle into their beds, and sat down next to Bilbo. 'Do you want to stay? I'll watch Frodo if you want a break.' She told him. He shook his head, and replied. 'I'll stay here.' Artanis nodded, then went to stand at the bedside. 'Elrond will probably be here soon.' Bilbo looked confused. 'Why?' He asked her, she turned to him. 'He hasn't found the splinter yet.'

Bilbo looked at the floor sadly. 'I never meant for this to happen.' He told her quietly. 'Bilbo...' She began, walking to him. She knelt, her face level with his face. 'None of this is your fault. If we all claimed responsibility for the evils of the world, we would all tire quickly. You did not mean any evil to happen when you found The Ring. All you knew is that it could be useful. But now we know that this Ring is the life force of Sauron. To rid Middle-earth of his threat, we must rid Middle-Earth of The Ring.' She faltered here, and remained silent. A tear ran down her face, and Bilbo carefully wiped it away. 'Shed no tears Artanis. All will come to an end.' She nodded, and stood. 'I'd better check on them.'

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