Artanis Nerwen, Part Six - A matter of questions

There was a gentle knock at the door of Artanis' room. 'Excuse me.' She said, leaving Merry and Pippin with Mithrandir. When she opened the door, Lo was standing in front of the door. Artanis stepped aside, and Lo walked in. 'Who are you here to see?' She asked him mischievously. He looked at her. 'Elrond wishes to see you and the halflings.' Artanis nodded, 'I'll get them. Where was he?' Lo followed her as she walked to Frodo's room. 'He was in the Hall of Fire.' Artanis nodded again. 'Sam, Merry, and Pippin. Elrond wants to see us.' Merry and Pippin slid off the chairs. 'Do any of you want to change clothes? I have to ask Mithrandir for a full report about how Frodo was last night. Your packs are in my room.' Artanis told them. The hobbits turned toward her room, while she walked to Mithrandir.

When she walked to Mithrandir's side, he was watching a group of male Elves prepare to leave on a hunt. Artanis watched for a moment, and then spoke. 'Mithrandir,' He turned from the window. 'Why aren't you going with them Nerwen?' Artanis smiled at his use of her other name. 'Elrond wished me not to go on this one. He said I would be needed here.' 'Elrond is a wise Elf.' Artanis nodded in agreement. 'That he is.'

Sam walked into the room. 'Dawn, we're ready.' 'Very well Sam. Give me a moment.' Sam nodded, and walked back into her room. Artanis spoke again, 'Mithrandir, what is going to happen?' Mithrandir sighed. 'Only the wisest can tell, and there are many questionable things. Now, go. I'll watch Frodo, and if you see Bilbo, tell him to come up.' Artanis nodded, and walked to her room.

'Are you all ready?' She asked the hobbits. They all nodded, and she walked to her door. The hobbits followed, and Lo did as well. When she opened it, Bilbo was standing in front of it, one hand up, as if he were about to knock. Artanis stepped aside, and the hobbits gasped. 'Bilbo!' Merry cried. Artanis knelt. 'Greetings Master Bilbo. Mithrandir wishes to see you.' She nodded in the direction of the recovery room. 'He's in there with Frodo.' Bilbo nodded. Artanis stood, and Bilbo walked past her.

After Bilbo had disappeared into the recovery room, Artanis walked out of her room. The hobbits followed, though they wanted to stay with Bilbo, even if he was with Mithrandir. When Artanis reached the stairs, she motioned for the hobbits to go in front of her. They started down the stairs. Artanis followed, and the walk down the stairs passed without incident.

When they reached the main floor, Artanis turned down a corridor the hobbits hadn't noticed the day before. She walked for a while, and then turned into a great hall. There was a fire burning opposite the door, and there were many graceful columns reaching to the high ceiling. Elrond was at the head of one of the many tables, and Aragorn, Elladan, Elrohir, and many of his council were sitting at various places around the table. Artanis bowed gracefully at the end of the table, and the hobbits bowed as well.

Elrond motioned for Artanis to sit at the empty seat at his side, while the hobbits were at the end of the table. 'You have been called here for a purpose.' Elrond said. The hobbits looked at Artanis, and she shrugged her shoulders. 'We want to know all that transpired on your way here.' Elrond continued. Artanis interrupted. 'My lord, they are tired. Can you not wait? They will be here a long…' Elrond held up his hand, and Artanis silenced herself. 'Artanis, please return to your room until breakfast. We will see you then.' Artanis opened her mouth as to speak, but caught herself. She stood, bowed to the council, and then left the Hall of Fire.

As Elrond watched her leave, he shook his head. She was every inch her father's daughter, but she had a bit of her mother in her too. He wondered if he should have been so stern with her. She had a delicate spirit, though she was a fiery fighter as well. He turned back to the business at hand.

Artanis ran into her room, and threw herself onto her bed. She knew that Mithrandir and Bilbo could hear her, and that they would probably be in to check on her soon. She took a deep breath, and gained control of her emotions. She sat up, and got off her bed. She walked to her desk.

She shuffled the papers around, searching for one of her sketch tablets. She found it, and flipped through it, searching for a certain sketch. When she had found it, she picked up a simply carved wooden box, and walked to the window seat. She sat down, leaning against the window, and opened the box. She chose a pencil from the box, and then set it next to her. She looked around her room for a few moments, and then bent her head over the sketch tablet.

That was how Bilbo found her twenty minutes later. He walked to her, and then cleared his throat quietly. Artanis smiled to herself, and slowly raised her head. 'Yes Master Bilbo?' She asked, tucking the pencil behind her ear. 'Gandalf wanted to know what was wrong.' He said quietly. Artanis smiled. 'You may tell Mithrandir that I had another disagreement with Elrond, but that I'm feeling much better now.' She said. Bilbo nodded, then left her room. She sighed softly, and looked wistfully at the sketch.

She stood up, stretched, and then closed the sketchbook. She walked to the desk, and put her drawing supplies in their proper place. She stacked the loose sketches, drawings, and scribblings, making the desk look much more organized. She straightened the wall hanging, and then made her bed, something she had forgotten to do earlier. She then walked to the recovery room.

Mithrandir smiled softly at her, and she smiled back, her eyes a light green. Bilbo was sitting on a chair, watching Frodo carefully. Artanis watched him, smiling at his devotion to his young nephew. 'Artanis, why were you crying?' Mithrandir asked, she stood wordless for a moment, and then slowly replied. 'Nothing of much importance. I merely had a disagreement with Elrond.' Mithrandir looked at her, a look of understanding crossing his wise face.

'What about?' Piped Bilbo, still watching Frodo, yet listening for her answer. She walked to the bed. 'I'd rather not talk about it.' She said simply. Bilbo nodded. He jumped off the chair, and stomped his foot indignantly. 'Why Frodo?' He asked angrily. Tears started streaming down his face, and he ran to Artanis.

She held him till the tears slowed, then gently answered. 'Many things happen, many bad, and some good. Only Illúvatar himself knows exactly what will happen. Ours is not to wonder why, ours is to accept our circumstances, and shine.' She fell silent, not knowing how to continue. 'Though I do not know Frodo, I feel like it. You've told me about him, about his life, about his habits. And looking at him now, I hurt as well.'

She felt Bilbo inhale deeply, and released him from her arms. He stood, and looked at her. 'You're right.' He said quietly, he started to continue, but was interrupted by a clear bell.

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