Hope and Dreams

Chapter 10
To Lórien

I'm sorry it took me so long!!!!

Translations from Pegacornish or Elvish

Muriel thought that she would be happy to be outside, but nothing would seem to cheer her up now. A lone tear fell from her cheek. It's my fault, she thought, I should have been able to save him. I am the one to blame, she thought some more, there is no denying it now. Not saving a man's life should be, and is, the same as murder.
She looked at the others, each one was dealing with Gandalf's loss in a different way. Muriel looked back, from the way that they had just came, and began to recite a poem.
"If I had known what trouble you were bearing;
What griefs were in the silence of your face;
I would have been more gentle, and more caring,
And tried to give you gladness for a space.
I would have brought more warmth into the place,
If I had known

If I had known what thoughts despairing drew you;
(Why do we never try to understand?)
I would have lent a little friendship to you,
And slipped my hand within your hand,
And made your stay more pleasant in the land,
If I had known."
Every head turned to see Muriel, reciting the poem for Gandalf. They listened to the poem, enchanted by it like they had been when she had played the strange instrument for them in Moria. She looked back at them, and nodded that she was done. She watched as Aragorn came to stand beside her.
"Alas! I fear we cannot stay here longer," said Aragorn. He looked towards the mountains and held up his bloodied sword. "Farewell, Gandalf! Did I not say to you: if you pass the doors of Moria, beware? Alas I have spoke true! What hope have we without you?" He turned to Muriel and put his hand on her shoulder.
"We must do without hope, than," he said. "Come Legolas, Gimli, Muriel, Boromir! Get them up!"
"Give them a moment for pity's sake!" Boromir yelled.
"By nightfall these hills will be swarming with Orcs!" Aragorn yelled back. "We must reach the trees of Lórien! Come Boromir, Gimli, Muriel, Legolas we must get them up!"
"Aragorn, would the Hobbits prefer to ride than walk?" Muriel asked.
"I think that they would, but you cannot possibly carry all four upon your back, my friend." He told her.
"I shall not have too. If I am correct, Ahern shall be close by. She probably is waiting for us, somewhere," she told him. She whistled as loud as she could, if Ahern was anywhere in the area, she would come. Muriel helped get up the Hobbits keeping her eye out for Ahern. What was taking her so long? She should have be here by now, Muriel thought.
"Are you alright Frodo?" She asked him. "You took a pretty bad hit there in that small room, back in Moria."
"I shall be fine, Muriel. How are you? Are you unscathed?" Frodo asked her.
"I am left unscathed," she lied. They don't need to worry about me, she thought, they all have enough to worry about. She was happy that the rest of the fellowship had not noticed her knee was bleeding.
Then, she heard a faint nay in the distance, faint but there. She looked into the distance, from whence she had heard the nay. She could see Ahern, faintly, in the distance. Muriel whistled again, and Ahern sped up too greet them. It didn't take Ahern long to catch up to them, with her great strides.
"Ahern!" Muriel cried when Ahern finally came upon them, dirty. "Où avoir lei mon ami a-t-il été? Where have you been my friend?" Muriel teased. Apparently, Ahern had decided to take a dust bath while still carrying all the equipment, which was now covered in a layer of dirt. "Lei doit porter deux Hobbits, il mio amico. Loro sont pitoyable et fatigué, qui est pas du tout Hobbit comme, mais loro ne doit pas causer lei trop d'ennui. You must carry two Hobbits, my friend. They are miserable and weary, which is not at all Hobbit like, but they should not cause you too much trouble."
Ahern nodded her head in agreement. With that, Muriel grabbed the nearest Hobbit, which happened to be Pippin, and hoisted him up onto the colossal horse. Then, thinking that it would be best to separate the two troublemakers, brought Sam to Ahern's side, but he refused to be lifted onto her back.
"I want to ride with Mr. Frodo, Muriel. I promised Gandalf that I would look after him. Please," Sam begged. Muriel nodded, she knew that he wouldn't be too happy being separated from his master. Muriel set him down, and picked up Merry against her better judgment. Once she was sure that they were settled in on Ahern's back, she then turned her attention to Frodo and Sam.
"You are going to have to ride bareback, for we have no other saddle. You also shall have to hold onto my mane and wings, for balance," she told them. They both nodded in agreement. Muriel quickly turned into her Pegacorn form, and kneeled, letting the small Hobbits climb onto her back. Frodo was in front and Sam just behind him. Frodo held onto her mane with a comfortable hold, not too tight but yet not too loose. Sam on the other hand, was practically pulling the feathers out of her wings.
"Sam, loosen up your grip a little. I'm not going to let you drop off me. Your acting like a scared rabbit," she told him. Sam finally loosened up his grip, but only slightly. She got up from her kneeling position, turned and nodded to the others. Once again, they started off but all with a heavy heart.
The road now turned south and went quickly downwards, running out from between the arms of the dale. Some way below the mere they came on a deep well of water, clear as crystal, from which a freshet fell over a stone lip and ran glistening and gurgling down a steep rocky channel.
"Here is the spring from which the Silverlode rises," said Gimli. "Do not drink of it! It is icy cold."
"It's beautiful! I have never seen water so clear," Muriel said.
"Soon it becomes a swift river, and it gathers water from many other mountain-streams," said Aragorn. "Our road leads beside it for many miles. For I shall take you by the road that Gandalf chose, and fist I hope to come to the woods where the Silverlode flows into the Great River - out yonder." They looked as he pointed, and before them they could see the stream leaping down to the trough of the valley, and than running on and away into the lower lands, until it was lost in a golden haze.
"There lie the woods of Lothlórien!" said Legolas. "That is the fairest of all the dwellings of my people. There are no trees like the trees of that land. For in the autumn their leaves fall not, but turn to gold. Not till the spring comes and the new green opens do they fall, and then the boughs are laden with yellow flowers; and the floor of the wood is golden, and golden is the roof, and its pillars are of silver, for the bark of the trees is smooth and grey. So still our songs in Mirkwood say. My heart would be glad if I were beneath the eaves of that wood, and it were springtime!"
"My heart will be glad, even in the winter," said Aragorn. "But it lies many miles away. Let us hasten!"
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
For some time Muriel managed to keep up with the others, but Aragorn was leading them at a great pace, and after a while she lagged behind, like she had in Moria. Not getting a good night's sleep for three nights in a row was now catching up on her.
Even worse off was Frodo and Sam for they had eaten nothing since the early morning. Sam's cut was burning like fire, and his head felt light. In spite of the shining sun the wind seemed chill after the warm darkness of Moria. He shivered. Frodo felt every bump that Muriel hit and he gasped for breath.
At last Legolas turned, and seeing them now far behind, he spoke to Aragorn. The others halted, and Aragorn ran back, calling to Boromir to come with him.
"I am sorry, Frodo!" he cried, full of concern. "So much has happened this day and we have such need of haste, that I have forgotten that you were hurt; and Sam too. Lady Muriel is the only one of us with the wit enough to help ease your pain, as we have not. As you can see, she is worn from carrying you this distance. Come, Boromir! We will carry them. A little further on there is a place where we can rest for a little. There I will do what I can for you." Muriel was relieved from her duty of transporting the Hobbits and turned back to her "human" form.
Soon afterwards they came bubbling water with the hurrying Silverlode. Together they plunged over a fall of green-hued stone, and foamed down into a dell. About it stood fir-trees, short and bent, and its sides were steep and clothed with harts-tongue and shrubs of whortle-berry. At the bottom there was a level space though which the stream flowed noisily over shining pebbles. It was here that the fellowship took their rest.
Gimli and Pippin started a nice fire going, and Aragorn was tending to the needs of Sam and Frodo. Apparently, Sam's wound was not poisoned, thank goodness, and the wound had stopped it's bleeding. Frodo had insisted, though, that he was fine and did not need to be tended to. Aragorn did not beleave him and was going to take a look at the wound.
"I do wish to know what has happened to Senay," she thought out loud to herself.
"Meow," came a voice from her pack. Muriel set down the bundle, opened it, and an ornery Senay came running out.
"Maintenant comment lei jamais êtes entré là-bas? Now how did you ever get in there?" Muriel asked her, but Senay ignored the question and put something very large and fuzzy at Muriel's feet.
"Senay! I am not about to eat a rat!" Muriel said with disgust seeing what Senay had brought her. With that Muriel picked up the rat and flung it as far as she could, away from the rest of the fellowship. Senay looked hurt that Muriel did not like the present that she had given her, and so Senay walked off to the fire, where she would probably get fed.
Muriel sat next to a fir tree, resting for the time being. She crossed her legs to cover the bloody wound on her leg. She was going to have to wait for nightfall or later to properly clean and bandage the wound without drawing attention to herself. Muriel closed her eyes, resting only for a moment, for Pippin ran to her with a plate full of food.
"This is for you, Lady Muriel," he said quickly and dashed off to get the next plate full ready before all the food burned. Muriel ate the food gratefully, but she only ate it because there was nothing else to do. In truth she had no appetite. She soon found herself being watched by two halflings.
"What is it that you wish from me?" she asked them, hoping to stop their staring.
"Would you please sing a song? Please?" Merry and Pippin pleaded with her. She smiled and begun song;
Every dreamer has dreamed of a perfect life,
I know the world has been trying for years to get it right.
We try and try, but find it impossible to do.
Don't you wish we could make this a better place.
Can't you see that we must live life a different way,
Every day, imagine what love could turn this to.

Wanna change the world, then change your mind.
We'll light the darkness one life at a time.

When we change a heart we change the world.
A spark of love can turn into a fire bright as the sun.
If you change a heart today then that could change a million tomorrows.
What started as a whisper will echo on and on.
When we change a heart we change the world.

A voice is waking a heart to the light of day.
A tiny flicker of hope can push the night away.
It's safe to say a caring heart brings another back.
Can you fathom a world where we open up?
Can you picture the day we've all been dreaming of?
Live and love like right now is all we really have.

Wanna change the world, then change your mind.
We'll find forever one day at a time.

When we change a heart we change the world.
A spark of love can turn into a fire bright as the sun.
If you change a heart today then that could change a million tomorrows.
What started as a whisper will echo on and on.
When we change a heart we change the world.

You may think it's crazy, but that's alright with me.
It's gonna take some time to find the way, but I believe.

We can change the world
What started as a whisper
Will echo on and on and on.

When we change a heart we change the world.
A spark of love can turn into a fire bright as the sun.
If you change a heart today then that could change a million tomorrows.
What started as a whisper will echo on and on.
When we change a heart we change the world.

When we change a heart we change the world.
A spark of love can turn into a fire bright as the sun.
If you change a heart today then that could change a million tomorrows.
What started as a whisper will echo on and on.
When we change a heart we change the world.
They all sat there a while, letting the words sink into there minds. Frodo and Sam had sat down next to Merry and Pippin while Muriel had been singing.
"Muriel, will you sing for us? Please Muriel! Pretty please?" the Hobbits begged.
"Haven't you heard enough already?" she asked the pleading hobbits.
"No, we could never get tired of you!" Pippin told her.
"Your songs are easily remembered, Muriel, and very beautiful, I might add," Sam countered.
"I think that we all would like to hear one, Lady Muriel," Aragon said as he walked up and started leaning against a tree. Even Legolas, Gimli, and Boromir had stopped what they were doing to listen
"Oh, no!" Muriel said with a fake groan. "Not you too. Now you'll be begging me all night and I'll never get any sleep! This shall be the last song for tonight! It's called Moonlight;
You can't touch it
It won't let you near
You can't hold it
Cos it will disappear
You can't keep it
It don't belong to you
And when you need it
There's nothing you can do
Love has the final word
You're a fool if you can't see
But I know that the light of the moon
Belongs to me

Not the warmth of the sun
Caress of the breeze
Not the sound of the wind
As it blows through the trees
But the light of the moon
Belongs to me
Not the warmth of your smile
Caress of your hand
Not the love that you give me
Again and again
But the light of the moon
Belongs to me

So many people forget it
Set love free
Love is a river
Love is a raging sea
Don't try to tame it
Or you will watch it die
Don't try to chain it
You've got to let it fly
Love has the final word
You're a fool if you can't see
But I know that the light of the moon
Belongs to me

Not the warmth of the sun
Caress of the breeze
Not the sound of the wind
As it blows through the trees
But the light of the moon
Belongs to me
Not the warmth of your smile
Caress of your hand
Not the love that you give me
Again and again
But the light of the moon
Belongs to me

Ooh you say I live in a dream
That I live in a make-beleive
But I know that the light of the moon
Belongs to me

Not the warmth of the sun
Caress of your hand
Not the love that you give me
Again and again
But the light of the moon
Belongs to me
The silence filled the whole company when she had finished. They just listened to the sound of the birds and the wilderness around them
"We should move on. The Orcs shall come out at dusk, which will come soon. We must hide all traces of the fire," Aragorn said. They all followed orders and did their best to hide the fire. Then climbing out of the dell they took to the road again. Muriel tried to hide the limp in her step the best she could, but she knew it wasn't helping her leg any. She walked on anyways, never complaining as the pain in her leg grew with every step.
They had not gone far before the sun sank behind the westward heights and great shadows crept down the mountain-sides. Dusk veiled their feet, and mist rose in the hollows. Away in the east the evening light lay pale upon the dim lands of distant plain and wood. Sam and Frodo now feeling eased and greatly refreshed were able to go at a fair pace, and with only one brief halt Aragorn led the company on for nearly three more hours
It was dark. Deep night had fallen. There were many clear stars, but the fast-waning moon would not be seen til late. Muriel and Legolas were walking side by side, walking softly and not speaking, listening for any sound from the road behind. Legolas was watching her, not her step but her eyes, for they were gold. He could have sworn that her eyes were green in Rivendell, but now they had seemed to change. Legolas did not look directly at them though, he felt that if he looked directly into them that he would be lost forever in them.
They walked on. The night blew chill up the valley to meet them. Before them a wide grey shadow loomed, and they herd an endless rustle of leaves like poplars in the breeze.
"Lothlórien!" cried Legolas. "Lothlórien! We have come to the eaves of the Golden Wood. Alas that it is winter!"
Muriel looked up to the trees that stood tall before them, arched over the road and stream that ran suddenly beneath their spreading boughs. In the dim light of the stars their stems were grey, and their quivering leaves a hint of follow gold.
"Lothlórien!" said Aragorn. "Glad I am to hear again the wind in the trees! We are still little more than five leagues from the Gates, but we can go no further. Here let us hope that the virtue of the Elves will keep us tonight from the peril that comes behind."
"If Elves indeed still dwell here in the darkening world," grumbled Gimli.
"It is long since any of my own folk journeyed hither back to the land whence we wandered in ages long ago," said Legolas, "but we hear that Lórien is not yet deserted, for there is a secret power here that holds evil from the land. Nevertheless its folk are seldom seen, and maybe they dwell now deep in the woods and far from the northern border."
"Indeed deep in the wood they dwell," said Aragorn, and sighed as if some memory stirred in him. "We must fend for ourselves tonight. We will go forward a short way, until the trees are all about us, and than we will turn aside from the path and seek a place to rest in."
The Fellowship walked on. They had gone little more than a mile into the forest when they came upon another stream flowing down swiftly from the tree-clad slopes that climbed back westward towards the mountains. They heard it splashing over a fall away among the shadows on their right. Its dark hurrying waters ran across the path before them, and joined the Silverlode in a swirl of dim pools among the roots of trees.
"Here is Nimrodel!" said Legolas. "Of this stream the Silvan Elves made many songs long ago, and still we sing them in the North, remembering the rainbow on its falls, and the golden flowers that floated in its foam. All is dark now and the Bridge of Nimrodel is broken down. I will bathe my feet, for it is said that the water is healing to the weary." He went and grabbed Muriel's hand and helped her climb down the deep-cloven bank. Than Legolas went and stepped into the stream.
"Follow me!" he cried. "The water is not deep. Let us wade across! On the further bank we can rest, and the sound of the falling water may bring us sleep and forgetfulness of grief." Muriel quickly pulled of the shoes on her tired feet and dipped them in the water, following Legolas. The water felt cool to her feet, not an icy cold, but a relaxing cool that took all of the weariness out of them.
When all the company had crossed, they sat and rested and ate a little food; and Legolas told them tales of Lothlórien that the Elves of Mirkwood still kept in their hears, of sunlight and starlight upon the meadows by the Great River before the wood was grey. Muriel listened to these stories intently, letting each story reach her sole.
After Legolas had finished a silence fell upon the company. Muriel thought she herd a voice singing by or in the falls. She turned to look at it.
"Do you hear the voice of Nimrodel?" asked Legolas looking strait at Muriel. She nodded. "I will sing you a song of the maiden Nimrodel, who bore the same name as the stream beside which she lived long ago. It is a fair song in our woodland tongue; but this is how it runs in the Weston Speech, as some in Rivendell now sing it." He began:
An Elven-maid there was of old,
A shining star by day:
Her mantle white was hemmed with gold,
Her shoes of silver-grey.

A star was bound upon her brows,
A light was on her hair
As sum upon the golden boughs
In Lórien the fair.

Her hair was long, her limbs were white,
And fair she was and free;
And in the wind she went as light
As leaf of linden-tree.

Beside the falls of Nimrodel,
By water clear and cool,
Her voice as falling silver fell
Into the shining pool.

Where now she wanders none can tell,
In sunlight or in shade;
For lost of yore was Nimrodel
And in the mountains strayed.

The elven-ship in haven grey
Beneath the mountain-lee
Awaited her for many a day
Beside the roaring sea.

A wind by night in Northern lands
Arose, and loud it cried,
And drove the ship from elven-strands
Across the streaming tide.

When dawn came dim the land was lost,
The mountains sinking grey
Beyond the heaving waves that tossed
Their plumes of blinding spray.

Amroth beheld the fading shore
Now low beyond the swell,
And cursed the faithless ship that bore
Him far from Nimrodel

Of old he was an Elven-king
A lord of tree and glen,
When golden were the boughs in spring
In fair Lothlórien.

From helm to sea they saw him leap,
As arrow from the string,
And dive into the water deep,
As mew upon the wing.

The wind was in his flowing hair,
The foam about him shone;
Afar they saw him strong and fair
Go riding like a swan.

But from the West has come no word,
And on the Hither Shore
No tidings Elven-folk have heard
Of Amroth evermore.
The voice of Legolas faltered, and the song came to an end.
"Please go on," Muriel said quietly to him.
"I cannot sing anymore," he said, looking directly at Muriel. "That is but a part, for I have forgotten much. It is long and sad, for it tells how sorrow came upon Lothlórien, Lórien of the Blossom, when the Dwarves awakened the evil in the mountains."
"But the Dwarves did not make the evil," said Gimli.
"I did not say it was so; yet evil came," answered Legolas sadly. "Than many of the Elves of Nimrodel's kindred left their dwellings and departed, and she was lost far in the South, in the passes of the White Mountains; and she came not to the ship where Amroth her lover waited for her. But in the spring when the wind is in the new leaves the echo of her voice may still be heard by the falls that bear her name. And when the wind is in the South the voice of Amroth comes up from the sea; for Nimrodel flows into Silverlode, that Elves call Celebrant, and Celebrant into Anduin the Great, and Anduin flows into the Bay of Belfalas whence the Elves of Lórien set sail. But neither Nimrodel nor Amroth ever came back.
`It is told that she had a house built in the branches of a tree that grew near the falls; for that was the custom of the Elves of Lórien, to dwell in the trees, and maybe it is so still. Therefore they were called the Galadhrim..."
"The Tree-people," Muriel answered for him and Legolas nodded.
"Deep in the forest the trees are very great," he said continuing. "The people of the woods did not delve in the ground like Dwarves, nor build strong places of stone before the Shadow came."
"And even in these latter days dwelling in the trees might be thought saver than sitting on the ground," said Gimli as he looked up to the large branches above him.
"Your words bring good counsel, Gimli," said Aragorn. "We cannot build a house, but tonight we will do as the Galadhrim and seek refuge in the tree-tops, if we can. We have sat here beside the road already longer than was wise."
Now the company turned to go into the shadow of the deeper wood, westward along the mountain-stream away form Silverlode. Not far from the falls of Nimrodel they found a cluster of trees, some of which overhung the stream. Their great grey trunks were of mighty girth, but their height could not be guessed.
"I shall climb up," Legolas said. "I am at home in the trees, by root or bough, though these trees are a kind strange to me, save as a name in song. Mellyrn they are called, and are those that bear the yellow blossom, but I have never climbed in one. I will see now what is their shape and way of growth."
"Whatever it may be," said Pippin, "they will be marvelous trees indeed if they can offer any rest at night, except to birds. I cannot sleep on a perch!"
"Then dig a hole in the ground," said Legolas, "if that is more after the fashion of your kind. But you must dig swift and deep, if you wish to hide from Orcs." He sprang lightly up from the ground and caught a branch that grew from the trunk high above his head. But even as he swung there for a moment, a voice spoke suddenly from the tree-shadows above him.
"Daro!" it said in a commanding tone, and Legolas dropped back to the earth in surprise and fear. Muriel watched in shock as he shrank against the bole of the tree.
"Stand still!" he whispered to the others. "Do not move or speak!"
There was a sound of soft laughter over their heads, and then another clear voice spoke in an elven-tongue. Muriel understood most of it but a little was still garbled. Legolas looked up and answered in the same language.
"Who are they, and what do they say?" asked Merry. Muriel laughed at this question, it was an obvious answer.
"They're Elves," said Sam. "Can't you hear their voices?"
"Yes, Sam, they are Elves," said Legolas; "and they say that you breathe so loud that they could shoot you in the dark." Sam hastily put his hand over his mouth. "But they say also that you do not need to fear. They have been aware of us for a long while. They heard my voice across the Nimrodel, and knew that I was one of their Northern Kindred, and therefore they did not hinder our crossing; and afterwards they heard my song. Now they bid me to climb up with Frodo; for they seem to have had some tidings of him and of our journey. The others they ask to wait a little, and to keep watch at the foot of the tree, until they have decided what is to be done."
Soon after a ladder was let down made of a silver-grey rope that glimmered in the dark. Muriel watched as Legolas ran lightly up it, Frodo followed slowly, and behind him came Sam trying his best not to breath loudly. She leaned against a tree for support and started nodding off to sleep.
*********
When Frodo and Sam finally reached the top they were greeted warmly by the Elves.
"Welcome!" the Elf than said in the Common Language, speaking slowly. "We seldom use any tongue but our own; for we dwell now in the heart of the forest, and do not willingly have dealings with any other folk. Even our own kindred in the North are sundered from us. But there are some of us still who go aboard for the gathering of news and the watching of our enemies, and they speak the languages of other lands. I am one. Haldir is my name. My brothers," he said nodding to the other Elves with him, "speak little of your tongue."
"But we have heard of your coming, for the messengers of Elrond passed by Lórien on their way home up the Dimrill Stair. We had not heard of - hobbits, of halflings, for many a long year, and did not know that any yet dwelt in Middle-earth. Since you come with an Elf of our kindred, we are willing to befriend you, as Elrond asked; though it is not our custom to lead strangers though our land. But you must stay here tonight. How many are you?"
"Nine," Legolas said. "Myself, four hobbits; and two men, one of whom, Aragorn, is an Elf-friend of the folk of Westernesse."
"He is known to us, and has the favor of the Lady. But you have yet only spoken of seven. Is there not more?" Haldir asked.
"One is a maiden, and the other, a Dwarf," Legolas said.
Haldir stared at Legolas for a few moments before he responded. "A maiden? Lord Elrond let a helpless maiden come on such a journey?"
"Maiden? Yes, that much may be true, but I have never seen the lady helpless. She is very superior with the sword and her talents would rival any male's skills," Legolas informed him.
"A maiden and a Dwarf," Haldir repeated. "A dwarf. That is not well. We have not had dealings with the Dwarves since the Dark Days. They are not permitted in our land. I cannot allow him to pass."
"But he is from the Lonely Mountain, one of Dáin's trusty people, and friendly to Elrond," said Frodo. "Lord Elrond agreed to his coming with us, and he is been brave and faithful."
Haldir and his brothers questioned Legolas on about the Dwarf, and what his opinion was on him. Legolas told the absolute truth, saying that he was very dependable and bold, just as Frodo had described him.
"Very good," said Haldir at last. "We will do this, though it is against our liking. If Aragorn and Legolas will guard him, and answer for him, he shall pass; but he must go blindfolded through Lothlórien.
"But now we must debate no longer. Your folk must not remain on the ground. Tomorrow early you must go on.
"The four hobbits shall climb up here and stay with us. There is another talan in the next tree. There the others must take refuge. You, Legolas, must answer to us for them. Call us, if anything is amiss! And have an eye on that dwarf!"
Legolas swiftly climbed down the ladder to the rest of the company. "The hobbits are to sleep in this talan and the rest of us must sleep in the next talan," he said pointing to a tree not too far away. He started helping the others bring their stuff up the tree. Seeing that Muriel had fallen asleep, he thought it best to wake her.
"Muriel, you can sleep more when we are in the talan," he said shaking her a little, but she didn't stir. He started shaking her a little harder. "Come, Lady Muriel, you've slept long enough. You have to get up now." Again, she did not wake up. Was she sick? Was she dead? He started to shake her even harder, "Muriel? Muriel!"
Suddenly she sprang into action, jumping out of her slumped position and into the tree she was leaning on.
"What is it?! Orcs?! How many?! Show me where they are and I'll kill them!" she said looking around franticly. Legolas stared at her for a moment before he broke out laughing.
"There are Orcs on the prowl and your laughing at me?" Muriel said becoming a little agitated.
"My apologies, Lady Muriel. There are no Orcs, I was trying to awaken you but you would not respond. I thought you were dead for a moment," Legolas said.
"Well as you can probably see, I am not dead. And, don't call me Lady," she told him.
"As you wish. Come, we are to sleep in the trees of Lórien tonight," he said grabbing her hand, leading her to the tree.
As they climbed up the rope they could hear the voices of the others settling into this new environment. It's beautiful up here in the trees, Muriel thought, and peaceful. It wasn't long before the Elf, Haldir, came to greet the rest of them.
"Mae govannen, Legolasernil Thranduilion. Welcome prince Legolas, son of Thranduil." Haldir said to him.
"Govannas vîn gwennen le, Haldir o Lórien. Our Fellowship stands in your debt, Haldir of Lórien." Legolas told him.
"A Aragorn in Dúnedain istannen le ammen. Aragorn of Dúnedain, you are known to us." Haldir said, bowing to Aragorn.
"Haldir," said Aragorn bowing.
"So much for the curtisy of the Elves! Speak words we can all understand!" Gimli said, aparently he was very annoyed that he couldn't understand them.
"We have not had dealings with the Dwarves since the Dark Days," Hadlir said with a sneer.
"And do you know what this Dwarf says to that? Ishkhaqwi ai durugnul," Gimli said, practically spitting on Hadlir. Muriel had no idea what the Dwarf had said, but she knew it was fairly nasty.
"Please forgive my friend, we have all traveled very far and are very weary. He doesn't mean it," Muriel said, trying to defend Gimli the best she could. The last thing she wanted right now was to have the Elves arguing with Gimli.
"What?! I meant..." Gimli tried to say but both Muriel and Aragorn gave him a glare "Err...I mean, I hadn't meant what I have said and I am very weary." And with that he went over to where he had laid out his bed for the night.
Hadlir turned to speak to her, "I hear that you are a good fighter lady."
"My name is Muriel, and yes, I am a good fighter. Not great, but good," Muriel said.
"She is being modest, Hadlir. She is an excellent swordsmen, or swordswoman, I should say," Aragorn told him.
"And what have I done to deserve such a great title, my friend?" she questioned him.
"You have fought bravely in the face of danger, whether a Cave Troll or a Orc. I think that is enough reason to call you a swordswoman," Aragorn told her as he put his hand on her shoulder.
"Aragorn, I wish to speak to you in privite. It is a matter of great importance and I would like to talk to you about it now, if at all possible," Hadlir said. Muriel thought it would probbibly be best if they left without there asking, so she lead Legolas away, tword Gimli.
"That Haldir, he thinks he knows everything," Gimli grumbled.
Legolas sat down and leaned against one of the trunks of the trees that helped suport the talan. Muriel sat down beside him, hoping that there would be a conversation started. As the minutes passed, her eyelids begain to droop and finaly she drifted off to sleep. Legolas was surprised to find her head leaning against his sholder, this was the first time she had ever leaned on him.
"Quel kaima, mela en' coiamin. Sleep well, love of my life." Legolas whispered in her ear. And with that he kissed her on her forehead.

The first song (the ones that aren't originally in Tolkien's book) is by Jump 5, the second is written by Steve Byrd, Ricki & Kim Wilde. The poem at the beginning is by Mary Carolyn Davies.

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