Artanis Nerwen, Part Seven - Breakfast and Elven Hospitality
He nodded, stepping off the last stair. He walked beside Artanis as she walked to the dining hall. She entered, noticing that Elrond was there. He sought her eyes, yet Artanis studying the floor. Sam, Merry, and Pippin were apparently watching for her. She walked to them.
'Are you hungry?' She asked, knowing they probably were. They all nodded. She smiled, and walked to her seat. Lo looked at her. 'What?' She asked him. He shrugged his shoulders, passing her a platter of fruit. She accepted the platter, and chose two apples, and an orange. She picked up two apples and an orange for each of the hobbits as well.
A few minutes later she had finished her breakfast. She quietly excused herself, and then walked outside. She sat down on the edge of the fountain, watching the water drop into the carven marble basin. She immersed herself in the sound of the falling water, mixed with the waterfalls surrounding Imladris. She sat there for roughly thirty minutes, thinking about her past.
She was 'awakened' by Lo. He sat down next to her, the hobbits sitting in front of her. She smiled. 'Did you like your breakfast?' She asked Pippin, and he nodded bashfully. Sam spoke. 'What are we...' but he was interrupted by the sound of a loud voice. A loud, dwarven voice. Artanis stood quickly, pulling a knife from her clothing, but keeping it hidden in the folds of her cloak.
Lo stood beside her, a look of disbelief on his face. There hadn't been a dwarf in Imladris since Bilbo's journey, almost eighty years ago. The hobbits stood in front of her. She watched the dwarves, a look of uneasiness on her face. The dwarves approached, looking around. Artanis called loudly to the dwarves. 'What business do you have in Imladris?' Lo laughed quietly, and Artanis could tell he was fighting an urge. And she knew exactly what he was fighting. Lo was fighting the urge to sing 'The Greeting Song' that they had sung when Thorin had come to Imladris with his group of dwarves and Bilbo.
The leader of the dwarves was a tall (for a dwarf) red-haired dwarf. There was something vaguely familiar about him, but Artanis couldn't put her finger on it. He called loudly. 'We have come for the council of Elrond. We need to ask him a question.' Artanis and Lo looked at each other in confusion. By that time, two other male Elves, as well as Legolas had come out to confront the dwarves. Artanis turned. 'Watch them. I'll go fetch Elrond.' They nodded, and Legolas pulled an arrow from his quiver, loosely placing it on his bowstring.
Artanis walked into the building, looking around. She found Elrond talking in the Hall of Fire. She walked to his side, and tapped his shoulder. 'Excuse me.' She said quietly. Elrond excused himself. 'What Art?' He asked. She looked around apprehensively. 'Can we walk outside?' She asked him. He nodded, and began walking. When they had reached the hallway, he asked again. 'Is anything wrong?' She waited for a moment, and replied. 'There are about a dozen dwarves outside.' She said quickly. Elrond looked intrigued. Artanis led Elrond outside to the fountain. When they reached the group, Elrond spoke to the group of dwarves.
'What do you want?' He asked them. Lo backed up, and the hobbits sat down on the ground at Artanis' feet. Lo began to hum 'The Greeting Song', and Artanis elbowed him in the side. He quickly silenced. The hobbits looked at the group of dwarves and Elrond with interest. Artanis watched as well, anxious to see Elrond's reaction to the visitors. When the dwarves dismounted, and followed Elrond, Lo acted as if he were about to fall over.