Artanis Nerwen, Part Five - Old Friends

Artanis woke at dawn, as was her habit. The hobbits slept, but Sam had apparently stopped snoring. She quickly slipped into a clean outfit, consisting of comfortable, loose fitting brown cloth pants, and a loose-fitting green shirt.

She pulled on her boots, combed her black hair, and then French-braided it, as she always did. She then walked into the recovery room where Frodo was, and found that Mithrandir was still there.

'How is he?' She asked him. He watched Frodo for a moment. 'He talks in his sleep.' Mithrandir replied, smiling. Artanis smiled as well. 'Merry did last night as well.' Mithrandir smiled sadly. 'Did you sleep last night?' Artanis nodded, 'Yes, I slept.'

She didn't say how much, but Mithrandir knew. She stood at the foot of the bed that Frodo was laying in. Her eyes turned dark gray, almost black. 'It will destroy him, won't it?' She asked Mithrandir, a hint of worry in her voice. 'It could destroy them all.' He answered, emphasizing could.

Artanis sighed, thinking of possible destruction. 'What can we do?' She asked. Mithrandir was silent for a moment. 'I don't know Artanis. It all hinges on Frodo.' She walked to the connecting door, and watched the hobbits sleep.

She turned back to watch Frodo, who had begun to murmur in his sleep. She walked to his side, and knelt next to the bed. Frodo was muttering about the attack of the Barrow-wights. Artanis looked at Mithrandir with pity for Frodo on her face. 'He's been through so much. They all have.' Mithrandir nodded, and turned toward the window. 'Many evil things have happened Artanis, and many more will.'

Artanis heard a noise from her room. She nodded goodbye to Mithrandir, and quickly walked into her room. Sam was trying to look out the window, and Merry was shaking Pippin awake. 'Good morning.'

She said cheerfully, 'Did you sleep well last night?' She asked them. Sam nodded, and Merry kept trying to awake Pippin. He soon gave up. 'I don't care if he wakes up or not.' Artanis smiled at Merry, knelt, and shook Pippin herself. He almost instantaneously responded.

'Yes?' He said sleepily. 'Am I late for breakfast?' He asked worriedly. Sam laughed from the window. Merry hopped into the chair, and Artanis smiled at Pippin.

'No, breakfast isn't for another hour. However, I thought you might like to see Frodo.' She said, looking at both Merry and Pippin while speaking. Merry jumped off the chair. 'Can we?' Pippin asked, kicking his covers off. 'Yes, if you wish.' 'Of course we want to! Can we see him now?' Merry asked impatiently. Artanis nodded, and walked into the recovery room. Sam walked along behind them.

She signaled to Mithrandir, telling him the hobbits were coming in, although he had heard the conversation. He nodded, and Artanis gestured to the hobbits. 'Come in.' She said. They walked into the room.

The first thing they saw was Mithrandir, and Pippin nearly ran from the room. Mithrandir smiled at their reaction to his presence. 'Greetings Meriadoc, Peregrin, and Samwise.' He said quietly. They nodded very quickly, and Artanis pulled two chairs over to the bed as she filed their proper names away for future reference. 'Climb on these.'

Merry was the first up, and he almost fell off his chair when he saw Frodo. Pippin got on the chair, and then sat on the edge of the bed. Pippin looked as if he was going to throw up, Artanis went to his side, and took his hand.

'He'll be fine. Elrond, Mithrandir, Bilbo, and I are taking care of him.' At the mention of Bilbo, Merry's head jerked up. 'Bilbo is here?' Pippin asked. Artanis nodded, and Mithrandir smiled from the window seat. 'Yes, Bilbo is here.' He said.

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