Chapter 9: Celebrian and Anarie
Frodo opened his eyes and moaned painfully. His head swam and his whole body ached. He was lying face downward on the sandy shore; it was daylight. Frodo spat the sand out and flipped himself around so that he could lie on his back and breathed deep, but found that painful.
"Where am I? What happened? Where is everybody?" he asked aloud. All was silent and no one answered. Frodo made an effort to get up and suddenly fell to the ground with a thud. He cried out in agony and sat down carefully. He checked his legs and noticed that his right knee was badly bleeding. Had he hurt himself so when he fell? He tried getting up again, but in vain; he wavered, stumbled and fell flat on his face. This time the fall was much worse; his leg was gruesomely twisted and it seemed to be broken. Frodo began to weep in his misery. He could do nothing to mend it, for all his belongings were gone. He could not find his bag or treasures anywhere and he obviously was in no condition to look for them.
Soon a thought struck him: was he doomed to lie here forever? Would no one ever look or find him? Then out of pain and out of weariness, he fell asleep, but his dreams were dark and dim.
Frodo awoke in a bed made of soft white cloth and when he opened his eyes, he perceived the evergreen branches above him and the blue sky peeking through the thick foliage. It was morning and the Sun played upon the green of the wood. Frodo sat up and found that he was in a forest clearing and the grass below was long and lush; there was a scent in the air as if that of many beautiful flowers, but the Hobbit only saw small, frail white star-shaped ones that sparkled gleefully in the grass. Frodo looked around and tried to figure out whether this was a dream; but this was no dream, indeed. He wanted to get up, but a clear voice stopped him:
"Daro!" it said in Elvish and Frodo stopped; he remembered that word well from that time it was uttered to stop Legolas in Lothlorien. Then out from the green of the forest came a lady clothed in white and silver; her hair was a rich gold and her eyes sea-grey. Her skin was white, but not pale. A true elvish beauty and in that slender gracefulness that she showed, she seemed nothing more but a glimmer to Frodo's eyes, a spirit of the wood, until she came very close. Frodo sat in awe as she stood beside him, reeking of perpetual beauty and elegance. A pure white wolf and a white horse followed her, and the wolf carried something in its mouth.
"Galadriel!" he exclaimed, as he had no other words to utter.
"Nay! I am not Galadriel," she said in a voice of silver bells, "Though akin to her, I am not her. For I am Celebrian, Lady of Rivendell long ago, grand-daughter of Finarfin, Lord of Tirion." Frodo was even more amazed at these words than the last ones. He lay down and thought for a moment. When he got up, the Lady was still standing, eyeing him with her wide, clear, almost ice-cold, beautiful grey eyes. There was no curiosity in them, no anger, or fear, but simply amazement.
Frodo felt rather awkward at the Elven Lady's stare. He met her glance with his glass blue eyes, but felt she could see right through him. He hesitated, then averted his gaze and looked away, into the depth of the enourmous (it seemed so) wood. The image of the Elf had planted itself in his memory forever and he thought hard and deep about her strong resemblance to the Queen of the Golden Wood. She indeed greatly reminded him of Galadriel and yet her face was pure and fair, as was Arwen's; and she was tall. Suddenly, memory pieced itself together like a puzzle and he was knocked as if with a fallen branch on the head. His eyes snapped open and his glance shot to the Elf; she was still standing, un-movingly: Celebrian was the daughter of Galadriel! And if that was true, then she is the mother of Arwen and her brothers.
"She is the daughter of the Lady Galadriel...." Murmured Frodo quietly in wonder and awe, but not quiet enough, it seemed, for the Lady cocked her head slightly to one side. She took a graceful step forward and stopped.
"Yes," she replied as if in answer to a question. "I am the child of the Lady and the Lord of the Golden Wood," but these words she said solemnly, as if some painful trace of memory appeared before her eyes.
"How come you here?" asked Frodo in astonishing amaze. "Did you not dwell in Middle-earth before? For if you are Celebrian, then you must be the mother of Arwen and her brothers." Celebrian looked at him and smiled, but just as quickly, her smile vanished and she seemed grim and sad.
"You are correct, Frodo son of Drogo, I have dwelt in Middle-Earth, but I left, after I was waylaid by the orcs on my way to Lorien; I was going to see my mother." A tear ran down her cheek, but she brushed it away and her eyes glittered, like the countless stars of Elbereth. Frodo then realized that she called him by his rightful name. First he wondered and was going to question her about that, but then he smiled at his foolish curiosity; she could see right through his heart and mind. She could know whatever she wishes about him without question.
"But come, I must see that you are fit for journeying; you have slept for many days, while I tended your broken leg and I wish to show you the many wonders of the Undying Realm, and," she paused "I think this belongs to you." She came and sat on the white coverlet. She took the bundle from the wolf's mouth and unraveled it. Frodo stared with wonder at the contents: there was his mithril shirt and the Phial of Galadriel. And then, the Elvish Lady took from a pouch that was swung across the horse's back, Sting, Frodo's sword and his bag with all his other garments.
"How did you come by these?" cried Frodo in marvel and joyous surprise.
"I found these not far from where I found you. You were probably too hurt to search for them. I see that these are dear to you..."
"You said that I was asleep for days; what is today?" asked Frodo.
"I presume it is the sixth of October." Answered Celebrian. Frodo's breath was taken from him; his eyes were wide and his mouth dropped in bewilderment.
"My shoulder," he finally found words to express his surprise. His right hand touched his left shoulder; he winced, when he thought of the throbbing pain that was yet to come, but his eyes opened slowly as he felt nothing of the sort. He rubbed the place where the old wound was lightly and whispered: "The pain is gone. I feel nothing..."
"The Undying Realm can heal the hurts that were inflicted to you by whatever evil chance." Smiled Celebrian, but then she asked: "When I found your belongings, one thing captured my interest: the Phial---where does it come from?" she looked at it curiously.
"Galadriel gave it to me as a parting gift in Lorien. She said it was the Light of the Star of Earendil," said Frodo, but Celebrian's face grew sad and she cast her eyes down; but then she looked at him and smiled.
"Stand." She said. Frodo stammered and glanced at her. Celebrian threw away the coverlet and for the first time Frodo saw that his leg was carefully bound in silken bindings. The Lady gently touched the leg and Frodo closed his eyes. The pain that he felt before left him and he felt relieved. She then undid the wrappings and Frodo saw that there was not even a scar or mark left of the wound; it was as if nothing had happened. He sat up and, wavering a little, stood up. He walked a short distance from his bed, but at one point, he tripped and fell. Celebrian came over to him and helped him up.
"I think that for now, you would need some help," she said. At once as if at her bidding, the white wolf came up. Its coat was glistening like silver in the sunlight. It was of magnificent size and proud. For Frodo, it was almost the size of a pony. The wolf lowered itself at Frodo's feet. With a glance at Celebrian, who was already seated on her white horse, Frodo cautiously climbed onto the wolf's back. It rose and stood still, awaiting command. The white horse came nearer. It looked lordly, as if it were carrying a mighty queen; and it glowed.
"His name is Asfaloth," said Celebrian. At this Frodo looked up and stared at her.
"The name of the horse of the Lord Glorfindel!" he cried, but she smiled as it was of no surprise to her.
"That is not news: for the Asfaloth of Middle-Earth and this one are of the same kin; this is his father," Celebrian looked sidelong at Frodo, and seeing his eager face to hear the story, continued. "Long ago, when I lived in the Mortal Lands, there was birthed a foal who was as white as new snow. I gave him as a gift to my beloved daughter Arwen Undomiel and she named him Asfaloth, after his father so that, if we ever part, she shall remember me through the horse.
"Many years later, I was traveling to from Imladris to Lothlorien, the land of my kin, when I was waylaid by the Orcs of the Mountains and I barely escaped the torture with the help of my sons. It was then, when I decided that my time has come to travel to the West, where evil and pain are of little concern. As I rode to the Grey Havens with my family, I learned from Arwen, that while I was away, the white foal went astray from Rivendell and was lost. Her brothers, Elladan and Elrohir searched far and wide for Asfaloth, but came back weary and grim, and Glorfindel, a wise Elf-Lord, and dear friend to Elrond and his folk, set out to find the foal. He was gone for four days, and finally, on the eve of the fourth day, he came back leading Asfaloth by the reigns.
"`I found him not further north than any of us perceived at the feet of the Misty Mountains,' said Glorfindel. `Pursued by many hungry Orcs.' So great was Arwen's joy at the foal's finding, that she gave him to Glorfindel as a gift." Celebrian stopped and looked at Frodo. Then she laughed---clearly like the running of a crystal stream.
"Your wolf seems also very pleased with its rider," she said with a smile. "She doesn't like strangers, but you have a gentle heart, I see. Her name is Aindule, and she is friend to all creatures within every wood. She will bear you as long as you remain true of heart. You can command her by calling her by name, followed by your command and will only obey me you and me." And with those words, Celebrian urged Asfaloth to a run, and he sprang forward like a bold of white light, and Aindule leaped after him. Her footfall was light and she bore the Hobbit steadily and not once did he waver or fall and for that, he was glad.
After a while, Celebrian stopped her horse and looked up. As Frodo came closer he looked up also and marveled at the vision that was before him: tall mountains; grey clad that in the sunlight seemed to be gigantic-beyond-thought mounds of luminescent silver, whose peaks were hidden in cloud, but in the middle of these, was a peak taller than all. It was all snow covered and gleamed with the most magnificent white Frodo has ever seen! A pure, chalky colour from the its rocky feet and all the way up into the clouds, until all of the Hobbit's vision ahead of him was blocked by the mountain's magnificence, and somewhere, lost in the obscurity of white clouds, reaching stupefying heights, was the great pearly summit with an imperial, grandiose dwelling of Elbereth Gilthoniel and Manwe---most favoured by Iluvatar. Frodo stood rooted to the ground, captivated by the sheer splendour of the mountains. He didn't even blink as a gentle, fresh spring wind ran across his fair, almost elvish face.
"These great mountains are the Pelori that were raised by the Valar, and the peak that is in the center is Taniquetil, the tallest mountain in all the world. It is the most spectacular dwelling of all the Valar and of any in Arda. Its uppermost tower is Oilosse and its hall is Ilmarin; its marble watchtower is domed with a sparkling web of airs through which Manwe and Varda view all Earth---even the gates of Morning across the Eastern Sea, or so it is told in the elvish lore." Said Celebrian and was silent; then she moved on, but slowly. Frodo still stared at the peak, as if it held him. The sunset was sending out its golden rays and Taniquetil was capturing them and then it glowed gold. The stars were like a crown upon it---day and night. Finally, when Frodo shook his head to get out of his daze, Celebrian was nowhere to be seen, and the land was hued dark blue, as the Sun disappeared behind the mountains. He looked wildly around, but then he spoke to his wolf.
"Aindule, find Celebrian!" at once she sprang away. They rushed past fields and streams and past rows of golden trees. The starlit sky wheeled above them and the moon rose before them. Finally, they came to a stop. There was Celebrian: but she sat on Asfaloth as still as stone and her face stern and keen, and her eyes glinted as they peered down the hillock; she looked at him, but did not say anything and started down the hill. Frodo followed suspiciously, and once down, commanded that Aindule let him off and she obeyed silently. As Frodo came up to the Elf-maiden, the towering Golden Gates of Valmar stopped him. Once again his eyes were widened with wonder and his jaw dropped open at the beauty of the richly carven, slender gates. Celebrian pushed these open and bade Frodo to walk through. Once inside Frodo saw a large mound and upon it were two great trees, but both were withered and black.
"That is the great mound of Ezollahar, where the Valar Yavanna sang a song to bring forth the Trees of the Valar: Telperion and Laurelin. They used to be the Light of Valinor; one Silver and the other Gold. Rarely did they glow together. It was their light that was captured in the Silmarils of Feanor; but Morgoth the Black and Ungoliant destroyed them for their beauty out of vengeance." Explained Celebrian with solemn serenity.
What a wonderful place this was. Frodo almost forgot the pain of the previous day, seeing the old island for what it really was: a magical, mysterious haven for many of the wonderful, cheery Elves that he knew so well and pitied them for their suffering in Middle-Earth. He almost let the little thought of staying here sneak into his mind. It was a beautiful night, the moon, much bigger than it seemed from Middle-Earth, hung proudly high above the sleepy world---a bright, eerily-handsome, pale-blue orb watching the little island suspended in space. The plantation was vast and exotic. Plants sprouted out of every crack; plants Frodo has never laid eyes on before. The dimmed foliage hung heavily over their heads sustaining birds and animals (as well as insects) of many different species, and yet even in the dark of the night, everything seemed beautiful and even more wondrous than even in the day! Perhaps it was the fact that Frodo only saw such serenity and fairness when Elves were present, for all other beauty concealed unfriendly eyes of ended quite abruptly, or even faded into fear and loss.
The young wolf Aindule traveled by Frodo's side; they have learned to become close friends in such a short time, but neither of them seemed to mind; Aindule's warm nature comforted Frodo. Alas! In the Shire, Aindule would be considered a danger and there would definitely be attempts of capture...or worse. Frodo smiled as he thought of how lucky this particular wolf was to live in Celebrian's care. A gentle breeze swept over Frodo's face bringing the soft smell of lilies to the air around him. Suddenly Frodo saw the glimmer of what seemed to be a waterfall through the thick trees of the wood. It was very large and fell from a tall, beautiful rock formation and sprinkled into a trailing, shallow stream, of cool crystal water.
"Celebrian! Is that...a waterfall?! It's so magnificently big..." Frodo exclaimed.
"Why yes Frodo, but it's only one of many in this land, although I find this one to be the most peaceful one; I visit it often. Alas," She sighed.
"Why is that?" a look of puzzlement crossed Frodo's face, and he stared into the fair face of Celebrian on her last, solemn word, as the setting sun rays danced on her pale complexion.
"I'm afraid I can no longer tour you for tonight: it is getting late and you need rest. We must leave, Frodo." Celebrian said slowly and sadly. She herself did not want to leave this serenely beautiful place
"What do you mean? I am perfectly fine now! I feel better---better than I had felt in years!" Frodo cried frantically, hoping to persuade the maiden to linger a while longer.
"Absolutely not!" said Celebrian. "You might seem alright, but still, you only awoke today and I am afraid I have overdone the traveling for today...I'm very sorry if I created any discomfort for you by journeying for such a long time!" she apologized with a worried expression.
"Oh...actually the journey was rather relaxing. I have finally realized what a wonderful place this is! And I haven't been at rest since I left the Shire in the first place. Might I just stay for a while? I am pretty aware of where `home' is, and I am sending Aindule with you; she has done enough carrying me." The hobbit fixed Celebrian with an appealing gaze.
"But Frodo...you are a stranger to this land! You don't know where to go, what to do...you could get lost in an instant---one moment, and I would be responsible, and we are not going back to the same place we were at before."
"Celebrian, I'm a grown hobbit!" Reassured Frodo. Celebrian eyed him. Laughter danced on her face. Frodo did not seem amused. "I have battled in Mordor! I have been poisoned, bitten, stabbed---and look! I am as alive as ever! And I got lost more than once! I think I can survive a walk to through this bliss."
"Well I believe if it's that important to you, you may take a small tour of the wood. You don't know of the things that dwell in these forests!"
"I'm grateful for your approval!" A smiled appeared on Frodo's face.
"It's settled then! But I am leaving Aindule to accompany you; who knows what kind of things might come to a young hobbit's mind!"
"How can this be? Must I be looked after as if a young child?" Frodo felt disgraced.
"Frodo, you might not notice this, but you are a young child to the eyes of an Elf! Don't be distressed now---enjoy this place. Well, we'll meet again tonight, I hope, unless you fail to find your way, as I predict! Farewell, young hobbit!"
"Whatever you say, fair lady. Farewell!" Frodo exclaimed as Celebrian checked her white horse into a canter. Aindule gave Frodo a look, which made him shiver.
* * *
The waterfall that Frodo saw moments ago appeared to be connected to a stream. It's banks littered with wildflowers. This truly is the most peaceful waterfall, I have ever seen in all my life... thought Frodo with a relieved sigh. Aindule seemed to know this place well for she acted like she was at home (for she was, in a way; all the wild things were her brothers and all the plains and forests were her dwellings, however large and small); chasing wild and exotic birds and insects and drinking from the stream whenever she pleased. Frodo felt a bit parched himself. He kneeled beside Aindule, cupped his hands and lowered them into the stream. The water was cool, but not cold. And the water was crystal clear, the moon reflected on its surface and its light played on the ripples. Frodo drank thirstily, water running down his face. Aindule stopped lapping the water and stared at something on the opposite bank. Frodo felt distressed and stopped as well. He tried to look in the direction the wolf held her glare on.
"What's wrong Aindule?" Frodo whispered, but Aindule just leaped into the water and waded cross to the bank ignoring the anxious hobbit. Suddenly Frodo discovered what Aindule was glaring at: the two Trees; two scorched shapes, dark and lonely. They didn't seem to fit in with the harmony of this high-spirited land and that was the first thing he noticed when he first laid eyes on them, but what could the wolf see that she didn't see before? A sound caught Frodo's attention; under the two burned figures sat a smaller figure; radiant and mysterious. She looked like a common hobbit girl and not so, at the same time; how did he not notice her before? Or perhaps she came there while he was wandering elsewhere, for if she did, she was strangely quiet. She seemed to be weeping, her hands covering her face. Her tears spilling onto her pure white dress. A ring of flowers sat on her head; lilies it seemed. Her gold hair spilled over her shoulders and four wings sprung from her back. She a fairy-maiden! Frodo stood rooted to the ground and unable to move in amazement. She was an image of beauty, yet she seemed wild and untamed. Aindule approached her as if she was something common, but Frodo gazed at the stranger in wariness; Fairies were known to be mischievous and not totally admirable of strangers. She nudged her gently and managed to lick a strand of her hair. The young girl slowly lifted her head and stared at Aindule. As Frodo saw her eyes, he caught his breath. Pure blue and they seemed to enchant him. She gave Aindule a radiant smile as a look of familiarity danced on her face.
"Aindule! I was wondering when you would come and visit me my friend!" her voice was pure and childish but it held a great weariness and sadness. Aindule lowered her ears and wagged her tail licking the girl's teary face, as she laughed. "Stop that! This is not a time to play but a time to grieve! Don't you understand that?" she laughed after she said this, since she understood that all Aindule wanted to do was play. "Under my laughter my dear friend there is pain, for I still grieve---"
"Grieve of what?" Frodo walked up to her realizing she hadn't noticed him as of yet and rudely interrupting. The young girl rose in alarm, letting out a cry, which surprised Frodo. "I don't mean any harm---wait..." Frodo stuttered trying to explain. Aindule walked over to Frodo licking his hand. The young girl gave a look of surprise and her eyes were confused and worried.
"Aindule? You know this rogue?" her fear subsided as suddenly as it had begun and she stepped forward retaining her dignity.
"Aindule is my friend, young lady, and I can assure you I mean you no harm! I'm only a guest to this land and I myself am afraid and I'm surely no rogue!"
"This must be so, though I have never seen a specimen like you before. You're clothing surely wasn't made here and what is that? A sword. Are you planning on killing me with that? I'm weary and I don't have time for your games." Anarie said, quite annoyed by this intruder but at the same time fascinated.
"I ask for your forgiveness for I didn't mean to disturb you. My name is Frodo Baggins." The young girl found this stranger charming, although she wasn't about to show that. His body and features seemed slim and youthful...but his eyes; his incredible eyes: large, and bluer than deep water. They held a constant twinkle, but also seemed to carry a sadness too deep for tears. They were at once both innocent and wise...and completely captivating. But what was she thinking? He had hardly met this...stranger and already she was admiring his eyes?
"I am called...Anarie." She looked him straight in the eye for the first time and it enchanted him.
"Anarie..." he whispered almost to himself.
"Yes...Lady Anarie!" exclaimed the young fairy sticking her nose in the air.
"Oh so it's `Lady Anarie' now?" laughed Frodo.
"Do you mock me? I can order you to be killed, if I wish!" Anarie retorted obnoxiously to no one in particular in a quite regal tone. Frodo gave her a look, which caused her to burst out laughing.
"I'm sorry, fair lady, for it is not I who is mocking you. It is quite the opposite, actually." Anarie stopped laughing and tried to keep a straight face.
"Well I am sorry too, Mr. Frodo, but you do have a funny air around you!"
"It's Mr. Baggins to you...and I can assure you there is nothing funny about the air." Frodo exclaimed not really understanding what he had just uttered. Anarie gave a small giggle.
"Right. Mr. Frodo, I see Aindule is familiar with you...what's your story?"
"I believe it would be quite a long one." Frodo assured.
"And I have lots of time, so spill it."
"How about you return with me to Celebrian's canopy and we'll talk." Offered Frodo.
"You know Celebrian? She should really pay closer attention to the people she chooses to associate with!" Anarie pondered.
"You're excused." Anarie replied absent-mindedly still in deep thought.
"This Fairy..." Frodo muttered under his breath and followed up with an exasperated sigh. "So...Anarie, will you join in me in a conversation and perhaps a meal, I have been skipping for days now?"
"Wait a minute; how do I know that you're not going to lead me into your evil layer and devour me! I know nothing about you, why should I trust you?!" questioned Anarie, lowering her voice to a hiss, which made the Hobbit fairly uncomfortable.
"Pardon me?!" Frodo uttered completely aghast at being called an untrustworthy cannibal. "I have no intentions of eating you...although who would? You are so bitter!" Anarie gasped taken aback by such a rude remark. She took a cautious step forward, and her face softened.
"I'm afraid," she sighed staring at a small yellow flower planted at her feet. "We got of on the wrong foot!" Now regretting the hurtful words he uttered, Frodo lost his edge and smiled reassuringly.
"I'm afraid we have...but you have all the right to be prudent around me, for I am just another face, just another stranger, and for all you know, I could have had intentions of leading you into my `evil lair' and devouring you!" Anarie smiled.
"Well..." she sighed, "I guess you really DON'T look like a villain, I mean you are certainly not that strong, and rather short-looking. I see no villainous intentions in your eyes either. I believe I will follow you, and trust Aindule's judgment!" Frodo smiled at this. "Lead the way, rogue." Anarie resumed her regal tone.
"It's Frodo Baggins." Frodo corrected her, realizing there was no point really and began to make his way to the canopy followed by the giddy fairy and the lone wolf Aindule. After a short while of walking, Frodo stopped.
"Anarie, my lady, would you not prefer to ride to Celebrian's canopy? It will be a lot faster..." he turned back, facing the fairy. Anarie pondered about that for a while and smiled slowly.
"As you wish, Frodo, but I will ride up front, alright?" she said, regally, once more. This was really beginning to get on the hobbit's nerves; he raised his hands in defeat, shaking his head. Anarie walked past him, head held high and mounted the great, white beast of the West. Her own raiment seemed to match perfectly with the white, silky fur of Aindule and the red gleam of the fairy's hair, seemed to like a flame on the pure, white snow. Frodo stood a while, looking upon this new, strange lady, that had so suddenly came into his life. Absurdly, he admired the fairy's stubbornness and queen-like air; the two seemed to go perfectly together. "Are you coming or should I just leave you here?" called Anarie, but the Hobbit smiled remembering Celebrian's words on the obedience of the wolf. Frodo came up and seated himself behind the figure of the fairy.
"Aindule, find Celebrian!" Anarie's voice rang in the stillness of the field.
The wolf did not move; it seemed planted in the grass. Anarie repeated the phrase more sternly, but still Aindule didn't budge. The fairy repeated the words in halting Elvish, but alas! Then, Frodo, hands crossed across his chest, back slumped, and his eyes roving across the great wood, clearly miffed at the fairy's hopeless tries of making Aindule run, muttered some words under his breath and the wolf suddenly broke into a rapid run.
"How did you do that?" exclaimed Anarie turning back to Frodo.
"I guess that Aindule just happens to trust me more, than you, my lady." Said Frodo calmly from behind. Anarie shot him a sharp glance, but Frodo ignored the remark.
She was charming, Frodo thought. Charming, but stubbourn.
When they found Celebrian within hours, she was under a large canopy of leaves with small lanterns hanging about the overhanging branches. Frodo walked inside and found it warm and spacious. Behind him came Aindule, upon whom Anarie still sat. Celebrian came over to them and bade the fairy to stable the wolf. In the meanwhile, Frodo got a chance of freedom, without being pestered by the fairy's presence. He told Celebrian of their meeting, but the Elf just smiled.
"Oh! I see you have met! This is a merry day indeed!" the lady exclaimed. Frodo gave her an awkward glance, by raising his brows. He on the other hand was not overjoyed at his somewhat ill fate, but if Celebrian's prophecy proved true, maybe they will become friends...or more than that, someday, but he just waved the thought away. When Anarie came back, Celebrian turned to both of them and dismayed them, by saying they have caught her in an unfortunate minute and that she was need urgently elsewhere. She bade them farewell and left Frodo in charge---much to the Fairy's displeasure, but only until the break of dawn.
"You should rest," said Celebrian and then assured their silent questions by saying: "I still have many things to show you, but now you are weary and so is Aindule. Asfaloth and I need to accomplish a task before we rest. I shall be back in the morning. Do not leave the canopy. Frodo, make sure of that." Was her last warning and she left. Frodo was silent for a while and the entire world seemed to rest. Anarie went outside into the cool night, against Celebrian's wishes, though that was expected from someone like her. Being true to his word, the hobbit took after the fairy, and grabbed her by the hand.
"What do you think you are doing?" exclaimed Anarie, trying to wrench her hand free.
"Following Celebrian's orders. Just because she left me in charge, it doesn't mean you have to give me a hard time." Said Frodo sternly. He gave Anarie a look, which clearly said that he was in no mood for games.
"Of course it does!" retorted Anarie jokingly. Frodo shook his head and waited until the fairy passed in front of him and then he followed himself.
"Look, Anarie, I'm tired, you're probably too, so lets just go to sleep. We have a big day ahead of us tomorrow." Said Frodo after a difficult time with the untamed Fairy; they were back inside the canopy now, and Frodo was doing his best at keeping Anarie in one place; he was also debating whether he should constrain her with leash. Finally, Anarie nodded in submission, but something in her eyes made him not trust her; would this be like looking after Gollum again? Frodo did not have the power to face another one like that; there was really nothing he could do, to coax the fairy to listen to him...not like he did with Smeagol, with the power of the Ring. Totally ignorant of the fairy now, the young hobbit climbed under the warm blankets that Celebrian left for him and closed his eyes; he seemed in deep sleep within minutes.
Anarie did not discard the opportunity. She silently walked to where Frodo slept and made sure he would not stop her again. Satisfied, she stealthily crept out of the canopy and headed further into the depth of the woods. A while after the disobedient fairy left, Frodo's eyes snapped open and he turned over to check on the fairy---only to find that she was gone...again! This was really gnawing at his nerves. His hands clutched into fists with white knuckles in his anger and annoyance.
He ran from the canopy and looked wildly around; no sight of the maiden, nor any sign of where she went. Discouraged, but not willing to give up, he hastily headed into the wood, estimating the most likely direction the fairy would have taken; every so often, he called out to the fairy with a ringing voice, that bore the trace of annoyance and slight anger, but he didn't get any reply. This time, Anarie went too far with her little `joke', but Frodo couldn't see who would laugh, when he was through with her. He trod upon the soft, shadow-hued grass that was tinted blue in the calm, summer-like night, and felt that there was more to it, than just locating the disobedient maiden; and that, unsettled him.
Very soon, his pace had slowed down and his calls for the fairy became less frequent. Frodo walked in the silence of night-veiled Silverwood, and in that stillness, he could hear his heart beating with anxiousness: it was nearly two hours since he had begun his search. The boles of the birches and beeches were smooth and velvety and had a silver-green sheen in the moonlight; they were very tall---like grey-green pillars that upheld a star-domed hall, which was interlaced with high-borne, splayed, rich-green boughs, that fanned out from their beams in slender and graceful fingers, reaching ever towards the sky. The pillared trees cast long, dark shadows upon the cool grass.
The night was becoming very late and Frodo sank into uneasy silence.
"Where could that confounded, unruly, troublesome elf-being be?" Frodo muttered to himself, looking over his shoulder; he suddenly stopped. Frodo looked back in the direction he just came from, and then from side to side. He furrowed his brows and bit his lip indecisively: every way looked the same as another! Now he wished he had never met the maiden and was saved all this trouble; he soon realized what a mistake this was and that he was slowly getting lost in the labyrinths of the nightly mists that coiled their translucent selves about the trees and hung low to the ground, concealing any paths that one was hopeful to strike.
Frodo continued his now snaillike, unsure way through the winding wood; there were no paths (even if there were, he couldn't see any in the thick mist), so the hobbit just trusted his won instincts. The wood was eerily hushed, like most elven-woods and forests seemed to Frodo. There was a constant chanting, or murmuring among the trees and the leaves rustled and tinkled without any aid of wind or breeze. There was also (aside from the whisper amid the trees) and unearthly, bewitching singing or slowed incantation deep within the heart of the sleeping wood. It was as if some mythical, legendary being sat atop a tree and sang in a trilling, melodious voice, filled with the tones, notes and fair rhythms of nightingales and elven harps and flutes; the trees added to the dreamlike music, for they had their own: rustles of leaves, trickles and tinks of water droplets and the creaking of slender branches.
If Frodo had known it, he would have recognized the deep-wood chanting as that of the pixies and fays that dwelt within the hearts of woods, and went out to frolic among the grasses below and the stars above, in the warmth or coolness of the night. All the same, Frodo felt uneasy amid all this; he had a feeling as if unseen eyes watched him. And it might as well have been true: for the pixies and wood-spirits had never seen a hobbit within their woods and were rather curious. They were tiny and partly invisible creatures: tiny sparks of light hat floated or lingered upon the airs, and all that could be heard was their voices and soft laughter.
There were many of these miniature spotlights, illuminations and candles where Frodo trod: they played in the density of the mists, or spiraled round the trees and were indeed as lamps and candles enkindled upon the tips of the branches; they laced through the golden and silver and green foliage as stars that came to dwell upon the earth and spill their magnificence about it, or they lingered amid the lush pink, bell-shaped nerenes, drooping and frail snowdrops and the strong scented lavender.
There was little of light, save for the moon and starlight, and that which radiated and shimmered from the silver trees themselves. After a few more moments of senseless wandering, Frodo deemed that he was completely and utterly lost; and he constantly looked over his shoulder, but he looked not for the fairy any longer: he was in fear of some nameless unknown creeping behind him in the darkness. For indeed, there were many furtive noises in the blind, darkened, depth of Silverwood, besides the lovely, eerie murmur of the pixies and other wood spirits.
Finally, the trees grew less dense, and most of them were no thinner and younger than saplings, but one tree stood out: it was old and gnarled, and its deep-green leaves shone silver in the moonlight. And in that old and wizened tree, was Anarie. She was lofted upon the old beech and stared at the star-littered heavens, humming a soft tune to herself.
The hobbit could not agree more, that the brilliance of the fairy's white gown matched the curling mists and that Anarie seemed to belong more in this wood, than in any other place on Earth. But no matter what she looked like, Frodo was angry. He strode up to the tree, put his hands on his hips and called to her from below.
Anarie, startled, snapped out of the star-clothed skies' enchantment, and when she looked down, her expression changed to a mischievous sneer.
"Well now, you have finally found me!" she cried joyously. "I thought you never would, my dear hobbit!" Anarie smiled, being elusive of the fact that Frodo glared at her.
"I wouldn't have gone searching for you, if Celebrian had not instructed me in looking after you and keeping you in place." Said Frodo in return. "It wasn't exactly part of my plan for tonight: I thought of having a good night's rest, but no! I have to wander in the late night, trying to find a misbehaving fairy, and hoping that she hasn't gotten herself into some sort of trouble!" the last phrase, Frodo shouted involuntarily, and a nit too sharply. "Celebrian has made it quite clear for both of us to stay put!" Anarie just rolled her eyes and sighed.
"Oh you hobbits are no fun at all!" she said, quite distressed. "You take everything too seriously! Loosen up, Frodo!"
"If you had known what I had been through before I came here, you would too, not be so quick to laughter and merriment!" Frodo said bitterly, not liking the reminder of the deadly peril he went through. "Now get out of that tree!" he yelled. The stubborn fairy lazily looked at Frodo and her eyes plainly said: "make me". Frodo couldn't take it anymore!
"Fine, stay there!" he sighed, defeated, and turned to go. He then quickly turned and shook his head at her. "I have never met an Elf-being as reckless and ill-behaved as you!"
Those words stung and hurt Anarie, but she was not about to apologize for what she said and how she acted before. Anarie jumped out of the tree and stormed past Frodo.
"We are going back," she said hastily; Frodo grinned.
"Lead the way!" laughed the hobbit, but Anarie just glared at him, scoffed, and marched ahead.
After about half of an hour of walking (wandering was more like it), Anarie slowed down. Her head constantly turned from side to side, and the light of the moon, peeking through the trees, played upon the fairy's fiery hair, turning it from a blazing, bright flame, to a cool, silver-red glimmer; she debated with herself which way they should go. Frodo noticed her unsurity and, crossed his arms and stopped.
"It has not taken you very long to lose us," he said, smiling grimly. Anarie turned towards him.
"What? No! I know exactly where I am headed!" she continued her walk and her white gown, like a thick veil of mist, skirted the soft grass like a white stream that followed after her. Another four quarters passed and the duo was now completely dumbstruck with confusion, amid the mazes and labyrinths of young and old trees; some gnarled and bents and out of shape, others smooth and slender and graceful. The mists were opening before them very reluctantly and closed forbiddingly behind.
"Well, certainly now you have no idea of the direction!" said Frodo, standing beside the fairy and eyeing the vast wood that surrounded them.
"Oh, it's hopeless! I wish we had never come here!" Anarie cried miserably.
"You mean, you wish you had never come here," corrected Frodo. "I was wondering when you'd say that!" Anarie looked left and right, but she couldn't see anything hopeful that might make their decision easier, except for the night-shrouded and mist-veiled wood. "Cant you fly up and which direction we should head in?" asked Frodo, but Anarie looked at him with surprise.
"Have you no wits left, or has the mists hidden them? If I try and flutter through those tangles and webs of braches, my wings would get torn to shreds!" Frodo glanced at the fairy's wings, then:
"Well, I suggest we get a move on it them, because I deem it would take until sunrise to get through this wood at this rate!"
"Well, in that case," began Anarie. "You had better climb that tree down yonder and look!" Frodo wasn't pleased with the idea of going up a great height---not to mention in the middle of the night! Who knows what sorts of creatures lived in the cracks and fissures of old trees. He looked doubtfully at the old pine that stood a short distance away. It was bent and greatly aged. Frodo wondered if it would break once he tried to climb it.
Anarie helped the hobbit atop the first branch, and the rest was easy work---so it seemed to the fairy, which was safely down on the ground. They would be on their way in no time! But Frodo had a different point of view: the old tree was very tall, and already the height made him nauseous. The bole was spewing with small, long, sharp twigs that scratched his hands and face; there were many whip-like ones that stung his back. The thicker ones were wobbly, and if he were any heavier, they would break; he stayed clear of the thin branches as much as he could, but soon it was almost impossible. Frodo had to pick a slow, careful and weary way among the creaking and cracking branches. He prayed that no wind would pick up and hurl him off, and before long, the poor hobbit was much scratched, whipped and bruised. There were many thick, silk-silver cobwebs, which Frodo avoided in fear of spiders and that was only a small part of the things that hindered his climb to the top.
Finally Frodo climbed the last branch (which was very thin and yet supported him), balanced himself and peered above the forest roof. They were closer to home that Frodo had expected! Anarie had steered to the southeast, instead of the northeast and if they came out from the south-end of the wood, it would have taken them quite long to get back to camp; Silverwood was not very wide in girth, but it was long. In half an hour's time, we would be back within the light and comfort of the canopy! Thought Frodo joyously, but the feeling didn't last very long; soon what he had dreaded actually happened: the branch upon which he stood gave way! Frodo swayed and cried out in alarm, but before he knew it, he felt himself falling rapidly down.
Down below, Anarie heard a crack and crash of many branches, and as she looked up, she perceived Frodo falling from the great height of the aged pine. He would kill himself, if he lands! Anarie thought worriedly. She fidgeted from side to side, but saw nothing that would break his fall---and he was coming down fast. Without any clear notion of what else to do, the fairy gathered as mush fallen leaves, dry pine needles and fern as she could, creating almost like a soft, green, forest bed and prayed that nothing too serious would happen.
Frodo collided with a cry into the mound of dry foliage, while Anarie jumped back and watched anxiously; she began fearing the worst when she saw no movement in the hobbit, and deeply regretted her coming here. Her heart raced, as the fairy began to slowly and cautiously approach the hobbit, but then---much to her relief---Frodo gave a mighty sigh and coughed. Anarie straightened up and waltzed up to him. What a mess! She thought, when she laid her own blue eyes upon him: Frodo's hair was tangled and mottled; while his clothes were grimed and torn, and his face and hands were scratched and sticky with pine sap. Nevertheless, the fairy couldn't resist a small snicker, for overall, Frodo seemed as if he climbed ten trees, instead of one!
"I have definitely lost all interest of climbing trees---however small---by now!" was the first thing he said, grimly and regretfully.
"Well, the important thing is that you are not greatly hurt, unless I am quite mistaken," said Anarie, looking down at him.
"Believe me, I am quite all right," Frodo said staggering up and brushing himself off. "I'm a bit sore, but that shall pass."
"I don't," replied Anarie, looking doubtfully at Frodo. "That was some fall! And Look!" Anarie came up close and, brushing away a lock of Frodo's dark hair, revealed an ugly, small, but deep wound upon his brow. "That is a rather nasty scratch for one who says he is all sound!" she scolded. "I shall have to mend it once we return!"
"No you shan't!" Frodo said, agitated after the fall and about this whole affair.
"Don't argue with me, Mr. Baggins. That is the least I could do after I had angered you so much this evening! Did you have a look at where we are?"
After Frodo told the fairy at what he saw from the tree, they were on their way again, but this time, with Frodo leading.
* * *
"Will you please sit still?" Anarie chided as she tried to clean the nasty wound that Frodo received at some point when he climbed the pine-tree. They were at last sitting within their brightly lit canopy, with the cool, swift stream gurgling merrily and melodiously outside. The moon was gone beyond the Pelori Mountains and the night was getting late; Celebrian was not there.
But Frodo was restless: the wound was deep and burned horribly, and every time the fairy touched it with the damp cloth, it stung even more. He tried to persuade her not to do anything about it, but the fairy was obstinate. Frodo finally gave in after she grabbed his shoulder and straightened him like a mother would a child; he found that it was really pointless to argue with an elf-like being; he really didn't think he would get the better of the argument anyway.
When everything was done, the two found themselves terribly weary and Frodo quickly dived under the warm blankets that Celebrian had left for them, and was soon snug and warm. He didn't remember whether it was in a pleasant dream, or in waking, but he heard the fairy to the left of him lightly apologize for the past long hours; it sounded like she meant it too. Frodo smiled in his sleep: it seemed like a temporary truce, but he hoped it would last.
As Frodo lay in his bed, he was having a pleasant dream that he was back in the Shire with Bilbo and his other friends and they were sitting beside an open window at Bag End, and warm sunlight streamed into the room. The flowers in the Bag End garden never seemed to wither and had grown tall and bright. The Hobbits were sitting and laughing and were having the best of times.
Suddenly all the flowers grew black and the sky was clouded over with thick rain clouds. Then everything altogether went black. When Frodo could see again, he recognized his surroundings with horror: he was back at Weathertop and Black Riders were advancing towards him! He was sitting around a fire with his Sam and Merry and Pippin and Strider. Frodo, as soon as the shapes began drawing nearer, had a sudden temptation to put on his precious Ring. At first he fought with himself, but then the desire became unbearable; he quickly slipped it on the forefinger of his left hand.
The Black Shadows suddenly grew terribly clear. Frodo, while he had the Ring on, could see through their black, tattered wrappings. Now they were robed in ghostly grey mantles. And eerie glow was about them, while all else was in shadow. Their faces were old and menacing, but their eyes were black, save for a tiny blue light that shone as if out of a great depth, but it was a deathly glow. On their long, cold fingers were many rings, but they looked cold and unwholesome. In their hands were long, cruel knives and upon their grey heads were crowns of iron. The tallest of these, and the most ghastly looking, strode forward and extended his long, bony arm. Frodo's left hand, as if by some will other than his own, began to lift towards the Wraith, who was trying to take the Ring. Frodo with the last effort resisted and called out the name of Elbereth Gilthoniel and the Witch King recoiled in horror; but then, he, in his wrath, took up his knife and pierced, not Frodo's shoulder, but his heart. There was a shrill cry that left Frodo's lips as he felt a touch of penetrating cold; it was as if many arrows of poisoned ice were shot through his heart at once. Amid his pain, he could vaguely see the shape of Strider leaping upon the Riders with flaming brands, who were dismayed to find that there was resistance. In their confusion, Frodo could hear one cold voice whisper:
"Let them fight! We will be back in short while!" yet even though Frodo grew terribly frightened at those words, with his last remaining strength he tried taking off the Ring, but it would not yield! He was doomed to wear it forever.
The pain and cold that he felt was so strong now that he could not move or even utter a sound. He lay on the cold, flat stone, while everything else was slowly getting dimmer and covered in shadow; there was a dead silence in the still air. There was not a sound to be heard for many miles around Weathertop. Frodo could feel his own heart and breathing labouring in the heavy darkness. Suddenly Frodo understood: he was alone! The others were not there and were either gone or killed, but no one would see him anyway, if they came back.
Fear seized him like a long shadowy arm and he wept. He heard his own small and now hoarse voice crying into the on growing darkness. With much toil and agony, he raised himself on his right elbow and looked at his left side. It was covered with blood that was still gushing from the wound, but where the wound was, he could see a thin line of cold light. He looked up and saw what he has long dreaded: the Riders were coming back, but not five---all nine. The leader (the one who stabbed him) stopped at Frodo's feet and laughed at him in a voice that sounded more like a hiss in an unholy wind. Frodo was stricken dumb; he could not move or cry for help, because of the cold that was had consumed him. He shook with fear. The wound, it seemed, had overtaken him. He heard the thin voice calling as if from a great depth and far, far away:
"Come with us! Come with us! To Mordor you will go!"
Finally, that horrible vision of the dream faded and all was black before Frodo's eyes, but almost as soon as the darkness came, it dispersed and Frodo saw an image of a tall horse. At first it seemed white in colour, with a proud head and beautifully arched neck and a tall, fair Elven rider sat upon it, but then the horse turned black and it's head was bowed low, whether from the heavy iron mask that it wore or from some other misfortune, Frodo did not know. All that could be distinguished on its face were its merciless red eyes. Upon the horse sat a rider cloaked in black, but it could not be a Black Rider, for it was much too short. His hands were of a pale grey colour and were long and bony. On the forefinger of its left hand, he wore a ring of cold that shone brighter than any other light present. Frodo could not see his face since a hood covered it.
To the horror of Frodo, the rider suddenly lifted its head; he was looking at himself---as a Wraith! His face had lost its entire colour and was now cold and pale. His eyes were black, save for a blue flame that flickered faintly in the midst, as if from a remote distance. His hair was now grey and the rest was hooded up. He looked menacingly straight at the Hobbit and cried: what have you done? Why did you put it on? In a thin and wailing voice.
He looked very wretched and miserable. Then, another figure was revealed, seated of its knees beside the horse's feet and Frodo recognized it to be Sam. The Wraith, seeming almost to do this against its will, took out a long knife that has been hidden under the cloak and reluctantly raised it above the hobbit. The other Wraiths appeared without warning and formed half a ring around Frodo's diminished form and cried out, as if cheering and laughing at him. With a great cry that rented the clouds like the gale and echoed in the unseen valleys, he smote the figure.
At that Frodo awoke up screaming. He sat up with his hand shot to his left side, as if he felt pain there. He shook with fear as sweat dripped from his curly hair and rolled down his face. His rosy cheeks were stained with bitter tears. His chest was heaving up and down, hard, as he tried to catch his breath.
Frodo's horrified cry made Anarie jump, as she lay in a warm, dreamless sleep. Turning sleepily around, and seeing Frodo's state, she was fully awake and quickly ran over to him, tripping over a pot of water that lay across the way. She softly knelt by him and placed her hand on his trembling shoulder.
"Frodo, what is the matter? Are you alright?" she asked looking rather worried. But Frodo started at the sound of her voice and mistaking her for a Black Rider, shook off her hand in terror and crawled towards the nearest tree, shrinking against its trunk. He drew Sting long before he realized it.
"Get back, you Wraith!" he cried and gripped the hilt of his sword until his knuckles were nearly white. A mist was before his eyes and he did not see the Fairy standing a short distance away, looking at him with bright, but confused eyes.
"Frodo, it's me Anarie. What's gotten in to you? You are not yourself. Are you perhaps ill?" she said, as she made a few steps towards the maddened Hobbit. Frodo lifted his eyes and looked into the Fairy's. His breathing slowed down as he realized that he was indeed back in the waking world, and there was no Wraith; only Anarie standing and looking curiously at him. The mist passed and he perceived the Fairy's slender and graceful figure. He lowered his head and sobbed.
It was a while before Anarie could get any word out of him. She quickly took up the pot that she knocked over, ran out of the canopy and headed towards the stream. Five minutes later, she came back with a pot full of cool, fresh water. She heated it to a boil on a small fire and crushed many herbs, which she found in a pouch left behind by Celebrian, into the steaming water. She poured the herbal tea into a cup and handed it to Frodo.
The fragrance of the tea was sweet and strong, and it seemed to refresh Frodo and clear his mind. He took a sip and sighed.
"I dreamt the most horrible nightmare!" he said. "There were Black Riders---the Nazgul, and one of them stabbed me through the heart, turning me into one of them. Then I---I saw myself as a Wraith and it was terrible. I do not know what words could describe the horror! And then, I---I---" he stopped and looked at Anarie, who was now seated next to him, with her hands wrapped around her knees as new tears welled in his blue eyes. "And then I killed my faithful Sam!" he sobbed. Anarie, though she has known Frodo a very short time, never thought she would see this side of him; he looked very miserable. Yet she knew that his nightmare was in some way associated with his journey through Middle-Earth. She pressed Frodo to drink more and then took his hand.
"Do not worry," she said, trying to comfort him. "You are still very much the same. It was only a dream."
"Yet it seemed so real!" sighed Frodo. "I am really sorry if I had frightened or hurt you in any way. I did not intend to." He said apologetically.
"You did not have to apologize, for you have done nothing," said Anarie and her smile warmed Frodo's heart.
"You do have a bit of tenderness in your heart!" exclaimed Frodo, turning around to face the Fairy seated beside him. This was indeed a drastic change in the Fairy's nature and one that the Hobbit was least likely to forget...Anarie didn't answer, but the light in her eyes told Frodo everything he wanted to know; she respected him, but was not going to show it just yet.
Suddenly, Anarie saw Frodo's right hand and furrowed her brow; she had noticed the missing finger. She gasped and leaning forward, took his marred hand into her small palm.
"How did this happen?" she cried worriedly. "Your poor hand!" Frodo was silent; he jerked his hand back and out of the fairy's sight.
"I don't want to talk about it." He said moodily.
After finishing his tea, the Hobbit yawned, for the night was deep and old. Then, slightly leaning on Anarie, he went to his bed and at once fell asleep, which was troubled by no dream, good or bad. Anarie walked out of the canopy and outside it was comfortably cool. The trees swayed and sighed in a breeze unfelt by any save the Elves. The stars looked down upon the World like eyes, beset in unseen faces. The dark sky was vast and clear and that promised a warm and sunny day tomorrow. She went back in and looked down at Frodo.
"Good night!" she whispered and lay down.
The morning dawned fair and bright the Sun rose like an orb of pure fire. Frodo awoke refreshed and found that Celebrian was back and she was wrapping Elven cakes, hopefully not the lembas... prayed Frodo; fruits and flasks of Elven draught that would be needed for the next journey.
"Good morning, Lady!" said Frodo as he came up.
"Good morning to you too, Frodo," she replied. "We must travel far today; we shall not return here anymore. Will you see to it that Asfaloth and Aindule are fit for the trip? They are stabled near the stream." Frodo nodded and ran off, just as Anarie woke up.
"And where's he going to?" she asked sleepily, rubbing her eyes and yawning, thinking he would lose himself in the woods.
"He went to the stables---" but before Celebrian could finish, Anarie spread her wings and flew off. When Frodo reached the `stables' which looked nothing like the ones in Rohan; just a soft bed of lush grass and fallen foliage on the green riverbed. He was surprised to see Anarie already there---happily playing tug-o'-war with a giant, blue wolf! The hobbit has never seen one of such great size; it was even bigger than Aindule, who lazily rested on her side in the cool shade. Asfaloth was grazing not far away.
As soon as the brilliant blue wolf lay his phosphorous, dark green glare on Frodo, he immediately bristled and barred his teeth menacingly; the hobbit froze in his tracks and dared not to move, or provoke the wolf in any way. He imagined what this great beast was capable of doing to someone as small as him. He could probably have eaten him whole! Anarie looked sidelong at Frodo, as she ran her small hand through the long, silky ocean-blue coat of the wolf. She then wrapped her arms around its thick mane and, as she lay her head on its shoulder, she whispered something to him, which was inaudible for Frodo, but the wolf seemed to calm down, and even curled his lip into a wolf-smile of apology.
"I see that you two are familiar with one another," said Frodo slowly, trying to keep the shakiness out of his voice. "But I have never seen a wolf of such magnificent size and such a luxurious coat! Is he yours?" he looked at Anarie, but was confused when she shook her head.
"He is a lone wolf of the wild, a skillful hunter and a very dear friend to me; he comes and goes as he pleases. He is not overly fond of strange creatures like you, so please forgive him for his temper. He is tolerant of Elves and me, though and would not hurt you unless I tell him to, or you do something that greatly displeases him." The Fairy commented proudly, but Frodo just furrowed his brows with worry; he knew Anarie well enough to realize that her mischievousness and a wolf that was so big and strong would make the prefect duo of trouble. "His name is Luinil; he was named so after a star that shone blue in the sky. And I think, he is going to stay with us for quite a while, wont you, my dear friend?" she lightly patted Luinil's back, to which in reply, the intelligent beast nodded with pride; Frodo swallowed hard, but then went to greet Aindule.
"Oh, and yes; he and Aindule are the very best of friends, so don't feel alarmed or anxious that he'll stick close to her on the journey. He doesn't bite...hardly, but you never know! He might just like to try Hobbit!" Anarie's little joke made Frodo feel even worse; he gave a meek laugh, cringed and mumbled something under his breath.
Frodo then went to Aindule, but Luinil followed him. As the Hobbit warmly greeted Aindule, her dazzling blue eyes shone and she sprang to him with her tail wagging. She pinned him playfully to the ground with her strong, but gentle paws. When she caught sight of Luinil, she met him with a nuzzle and he licked her face. Anarie looked at Frodo and smiled. He went red in the face and turned away; Anarie gave a little laugh.
"I think we should get back to work." Said Frodo, changing the subject, as he made his way to Asfaloth.
"Will you tell me of your journeys in Middle-Earth?" she asked eagerly.
"Maybe on the road. I do not doubt that Celebrian will be interested also." Said Frodo grudgingly; for he did not want to wake the memory of pain and toil.
He went up to the great, white, Elven horse, which greeted him with delight. Frodo placed his palm on the horses muzzle as if he was about to caress the horse, but he didn't; he just stood there with his head bowed. He the lifted his head as if looking at the horse, but in the corner of his eye, he saw Anarie, who was gazing back at him. There was an awkward silence between the Hobbit and the Fairy and both felt very uncomfortable, but neither knew how to amend this or why it was happening.
Then Frodo went on with tending Asfaloth and the horse nuzzled his shoulder. Anarie watched in wonder; for the great horse did not let anyone come near unless it were Celebrian, or anyone that Asfaloth knew well. Frodo caressed the horse's muzzle and spoke to him inaudibly; the horse threw its head as if to agree. Then, Frodo glanced at Anarie and she came over. The Fairy neared with caution, but the horse made no sign of displeasure. Anarie stretched out her hand to caress the horse, but it neighed and she fell down with a cry. Frodo threw Asfaloth a look, which clearly showed his disappointment, but he could not resist laughing; Anarie's expression was so comical.
"He would not hurt you! He knows better. Here, let me help you up and don't be afraid; he wont try that again." He helped Anarie up and again she made an attempt to touch Asfaloth, and she did. The horse nuzzled her neck and Anarie's expression changed from fear to delight.
. They did not head for the canopy now, for they had no need: Celebrian met them at the stream. She waited until Frodo came up to her and put Asfaloth under her care. Then she handed Frodo his sword, his backpack and Galadriel's Phial and then she mounted her white steed. Frodo mounted Aindule and Anarie sat upon Luinil. Finally they took off.