Hope and Dreams - Chapter 5 - The Banquet and singing

Chapter 5

The Banquet and singing

Sorry that it took me so long to post this Chapter. I got sick , I am better now. Hopefully I shall not get sick again.


Translations to Elvish or Pegacornish

-dialog between Muriel and Phoenix-


Muriel awoke to someone saying her name. At first she thought she was at home but the ceiling was the different color than she remembered. Then she thought of everything that had happened the previous day. She sat up and looked at the person who was calling her. It was Arwen, Muriel smiled.

" The banquet will start in three hours."

" But...but it tis only morning." Muriel bewildered said.

" You have slept the morning through, it is five in the afternoon now, the party starts in three hours." Arwen frowned " Legolas told us about last night." Muriel looked away when Arwen said that. She didn't want Arwen to see the tears.

" Ok, I'll start getting ready for the banquet," she said shakily. She looked back at Arwen, and Arwen nodded and left. Muriel looked at the pile of clothes that Legolas had set down on the dresser for her. He had been so kind to her last night. Her people wouldn't be so kind if something like that would have happened to her in her own world. They didn't care if I would have lived or died, she thought. She got out of bed and picked up the banquet dress. The fabric felt soft and comforting in her hand. She took off the clothes that she had on, which was the outfit that she was wearing when she first ventured into Middle-earth. She slipped the beautiful blue dress on, it fit perfectly, and then she tied the gold cord around her waist. She looked at herself though the vanity mirror, it was like the dress was made for her. She needed to wash her face though, so she picked up a dish on the vanity and went in search for water and a towel. She found some elves talking and laughing in a large open area. She was very embarrassed when she asked them where she could find the things she was looking for. They happily showed her to a very large room filled with steaming water and towels. The water was in lovely tubs in the floor. She said thank you to them and they left laughing and singing. She filled her bowl with water and got a towel. She took all of these things up to their room. When she got there was a note on the vanity. It said;

Muriel,

Meet me underneath the arch with the blue ivy on it at. I shall show you where the banquet hall is. If you wish I will sit next to you.

Le ernil,

Legolas.

She was happy that he had written to her, for she liked him very much. The other males in her world would have just snubbed her and told her to find her own way to the banqueting table. She gently washed her face, making sure that there wasn't a dirt spot left on her face when she got done. She was about ready when a nock came at the door. "Come in," She said.

It was Arwen again she came into the room wearing a pink gown, almost exactly like the one Muriel was wearing.

" Are you ready? Is there anything you need? " She asked.

" Almost, I just can't figure out how to do my hair." Muriel said.

Arwen said "I can show you a way to put up your hair in the Elvish fashion. If you wish I will put your hair up that way."

Muriel smiled "Thank you. Yes, I would like you to show me how to put up my hair, if it's no trouble."

" Of curse its no trouble, and I would be happy to show you." Arwen said in her light voice. As Muriel watched, Arwen put her hair into a marvelous looking braid. They talked about Ahern, Senay, Rivendell, and many other things.

" How did you learn to ride that way?" Arwen would ask.

" Oh, where I come from we all ride that way. We believe that if you want to ride the horse, the horse must trust you. It is considered that you don't trust your horse to understand you if you use a bridle. But if you use stirrups it is considered that you can't control your horse." Muriel would say.

" Why?" Arwen asked.

" Because we tell our horses where to go by where we move our weight and put our legs. We do not force them to go anywhere they don't want to go. They choose to follow us, our cats and dacos (dacos are small, miniature dragons) do the same thing."

They talked until it was seven thirty.

" I must go now, they expect me at the banquet early." Arwen said.

" Oh, Ok." Muriel said. "I'm sorry I took you so long, I shouldn't have asked you to do my hair."

" Don't be, I was happy to, but we still don't have a ribbon or cord to keep it together."

" I have one in my bag. Can you hold my hair while I get it?" Muriel asked

"Sure." Muriel walked over to her pack and pulled out a gold ribbon. Arwen smiled when she saw it.

"That will look breathtaking with this dress." She tied it at the end in an elvish bow. When she was done she stood back and let Muriel inspect her work. "I must depart now." Arwen said looking at the setting sun. She silently walked out the door and into the growing darkness. Muriel walked over to her window and looked out onto the scene below. There where many walking on the wooded road below, most of them were Elves but Muriel could see four short little men. She laughed because she had never seen men like them before. Then there came more people, a little taller then the other little men but they were still short. The taller little men had very large beards and carried axes. Dwarves and Hobbits, her information on this world told her. It was about time for her to walk down to her and Legolas's chosen meeting place. She took one last long look in the mirror at herself.

-You look fine, don't be so nervous.- Phoenix said. -Remember what were here for, were not here to sit around and look nice. Where here to stop the evil that's been growing in this world. We need to find out some information on what's causing the evil to rise.-

-Yah, your right.-

She walked out the door and down the three flights of stairs. She saw Legolas waiting for her on the end of the stairs. She was breathtaking, he thought. If he didn't know better he would have thought her to be an elf. The way she gracefully walked down the stairs, and her beauty was all elf like. He couldn't take his eyes off her. She stood before him smiling, at first he could think of nothing but her beauty but then he snapped out of it. "You look wonderful tonight. Where did you get that necklace?" he asked taking her hand. "My mother gave it to me. Before she died," she told him. "Oh, I am sorry," he said truthfully. They walked off hand in hand together. At the opening of the Banquet hall stood Arwen and another dark haired elf.

"Muriel, this is my father Lord Elrond." Arwen said smiling.

"Hello." It was all she could say. Elrond smiled at her and said "I hope your stay at Rivendell has been pleasant."

"Oh yes," Muriel said. She was a little uncomfortable, with him talking to her this way, for he was the lord of this wonderful place. He should be ordering me around and not asking me how my stay was, Muriel thought. Legolas sensing the tension in Muriel, lead her off to the table. It was a large table with many chairs all about the same size. Many of the people she had seen below her window she now saw sitting around the table. Although, the Dwarves and the Hobbits feet could not touch the floor when they sat. Each place had a name on his or her plate. She saw that her name rested near by the hobbits and Legolas's set next to hers. Legolas quickly pulled out the chair for her. She blushed, she was not used to this type of treatment. She sat on the chair next to a dark haired Hobbit. She smiled at him, and asked him, "What's your name?"

"Frodo Baggens my lady. And, if I may ask, who are you?" He asked with a half smile. He looks sick, Muriel thought but she tried to take no notice of his under the weather look and tried to make a conversation with him. "I'm Muriel Aubree. Where do you live?" She asked him.

"In the shire, where most Hobbits live."

"And what are you doing here? " Muriel asked.

" I'd rather not speak of it right now," He said, his voice going to a whisper.

"Oh, I'm sorry." She said. She didn't want to offend him so she looked at Legolas for a conversation, but her was talking to a dark haired man with a rugged look to him. The man looked at her, he was saying something to Legolas in elvish. Legolas turned to look at her and said, "Muriel this is Aragorn."

"It's a pleasure to meet you Muriel. Legolas was just telling me about you." Aragorn said with a questioning look in his eye. "He did not tell me, however, where you are from."

"Oh," She was scrambling to figure out where she should say "I come from the east." That is all I can say, she thought to herself. He gave her a quizzical look and said, "I must go see to something now." And he left. Muriel looked around the room. All of the seats, but two, were full now, across from her sat an elderly looking dwarf. The dwarf and Frodo were deep conversation. A bell was wrung, they all fell silent and tuned to look. Arwen and Elrond were coming gracefully toward the table, as they approached, all who sat at the table stood up in respect and they didn't sit until Arwen and Elrond were in their seat. I don't belong here, Muriel thought as she looked around. A second bell was wrung and this time servants appeared holding food. They put the different dishes in front of everyone. Then the feast began, Legolas started talking to Muriel about his travels, Muriel listened closely hoping to find what she was up against in this world. He told her of his home, Mirkwood, and the huge spiders that lived there. He told her of losing his mother, and how he hoped to see her again one day, in the Undying Lands. Muriel helped herself to many strange dishes as she paid attention to Legolas's stories. All of the dishes were good that she tried. She ate her fill for she was very hungry, for not eating breakfast or lunch. When they were all done eating the plates were taken away.

Lord Elrond stood up, "Now that we have all eaten our fill, I invite you all to go down into the Hall of Fire to hear songs and tails." They rose together but they let Arwen and Elrond go ahead. She found Legolas beside her, smiling as he looked at her.

"What is it?" She asked him.

"I was just thinking on how beautiful you look tonight," He said, complimenting on her looks again. They walked into a large hall with a warm fire on one side of the wall. Elrond strode over to a huddled figure and said, "Awake little master." The figure stirred and his head rose, it was the face of an old hobbit.

"Bilbo!" came a voice and Frodo, the Hobbit Muriel met before, sprang forward.

"Hullo, Frodo my lad!" Said Bilbo. "So you have got here at last I hoped you would manage it. Well, well! So all this feasting is in your honour, I hear. I hope you enjoyed yourself?"

"Yes, of coarse. What were you doing while we were feasting?"

"Why, sitting and thinking. I do a lot of that nowadays, and this is the best place to do it in, as a rule. Wake up indeed!" he said, cocking an eye at Elrond. There was a bright twinkle in it and no sign of sleepiness. "Wake up! I was not asleep, Master Elrond. If you want to know, you have all come out from your feast too soon, and you have disturbed me, in the middle of making up a song. I was stuck over a line or two, and was thinking about them; but now I don't suppose I shall ever get them right. There will be such a deal or singing that the ideas will be driven clean out of my head. I shall have to get my friend the Dúnadan to help me."

Muriel lost interest in the complaining hobbit and listened to the music. The music made her feel heavy and drowsy. She sat down next to Legolas in the hall. She listened to many songs before the old hobbit named Bilbo got in front and started singing;

Eärendil was a mariner
That tarried in Arvernien;
He built a boat of timber felled
In Mimbretil to journey in;
Her sails he wove of silver fair,
Of silver were her lanterns made,
Her prow was fashioned like a swan,
And light upon her banners laid.

In panoply of ancient kings,
In chained rings her armoured him;
His shining shield was scored with runes
To ward all wounds and harm from him;
His bow was made of dragon-horn,
His arrows shorn of ebony,
of silver was his habergeon,
his scabbard of chalcedony;
his sword of steel was valiant,
of adamant his helmet tall,
an eagle-plume upon his crest,
upon his breast an emerald.

Beneath the Moon and under star
He wandered far from northern strands,
Bewildered on enchanted ways
Beyond the days of mortal lands.
From gnashing of the Narrow Ice
Where shadow lies on frozen hills,
From neither heats and burning waste
He turned in haste, and burning waste
He turned in haste, and roving still
On starless waters far astray
At last he came to Night of Naught,
And passed, and never sight he saw
Or shining shore nor light he sought.
The winds of wrath came driving him,
And blindly in the foam he fled
From west to east and errandless,
Unheralded he homeward sped.

There flying Elwing came to him,
And flame was in the darkness lit;
More bright then light of a diamond
The fire upon her carcanet.
The Silmaril she bound on him
And crowned him with the loving light
And dauntless then with burning brow
He turned his prow; and in the night
From Otherworld beyond the Sea
There strong and free a storm arose,
A wind of power in Tarmenel;
By paths that seldom mortal goes
His boat it bore with biting breath
As might of death across the grey
And long-forsaken seas distressed:
From east to west he passed away

Though Evernight he back was borne
On black and roaring waves that ran
O'er leagues unlit and foundered shores
That drowned before the Days began,
Until he heard on strands of pearl
Where ends the world the music long,
Where ever-foaming billows roll
The yellow gold and jewels wan.

He saw the Mountain silent rise
Where twilight lies upon the knees
of Valinor, and Eldamar
Beheld afar beyond the seas.
A wanderer escaped from night
To haven white he came at last,
To Elvenhome the green and fair
Where keen the air, where pale as glass
Beneath the Hill of Ilmarin
a-glimmer in a valley sheer
the lamplit towers of Tirion
are mirrored on the Shadowmere.

He tarried there from errantry,
And melodies they taught to him,
And sages old him marvels told,
And harps of gold they brought to him.
They clothed him then in elven-white,
And seven lights before him sent,
As through the Calacirian
To hidden land forlorn the went.
He came unto the timeless halls
Where shining fall the countless years,
And endless reigns the Elder King
In Ilmarin on Mountain sheer;
And words unheard were spoken then
Of folk of Men and Elven-kin,
Beyond the world were visions showed
forbid to those that dwell therein.

A ship then new they built for him
Of mithril and of elven-glass
With shining prow; no shaven oar
Nor sail she bore on silver mast:
The Silnaril as lantern light
And banner bright with living flame
To gleam thereon by Elbereth
Herself was set, who thither came
And wings immortal made for him,
And laid on him undying doom,
To sail the shoreless skies and come
Behind the Sun and light of the Moon.

From Evereven's lofty hills
Where softly silver fountains fall
His wings him bore, a wandering light,
Beyond the mighty Mountain wall.
From World's End then he turned away,
And yearned again to find afar
His home through shadows journeying,
And burning as an island star
On high above the mists he came,
A distant flame before the Sun,
A wonder ere the waking dawn
Where grey the Norland waters run.

And over Middle-earth he passed
And heard at last the weeping sore
Of women and of elven-maids
In Elder Days, in years of yore.
But on him mighty doom was laid,
Till Moon should fade, an orbed star
To pass, and tarry never more
On Hither Shores where mortals are;
For ever still a herald on
An errand that should never rest
To bear his shining lamp afar,
The Flammifer of Westernesse.

She found her hand reaching for Legolas's, she quickly put it next to her side. She looked back at him, he seemed not to notice. Muriel looked Arwen's way, to see her talking in a deep conversation with Aragorn. She wished she knew what they were talking about, for their voices were too low to hear.

*******

"I just don't trust her. That's all," Aragorn said to Arwen.

"She seems nice enough. I think that she's a good person, you're just paranoid," Arwen said sternly. "Besides, if she was working for Sauron why did he send those snakes to kill her?"

"They probably were giving her a message. She only wants us to believe that they wanted to kill her," Aragorn reasoned.

"She doesn't seem like the type to take the ring back to Sauron," Arwen said softly.

"Why would she lie about where she came from anyways? What has she got to hide?" Aragorn said more to himself then to Arwen.

"Maybe her home life wasn't so good, maybe she doesn't want to remember where she came from, you can't rule that out," Arwen reasoned.

" I know, but you can't be to careful. With the fate of the world at hand we have to be extra careful who we trust," Aragorn said. He brought his voice down to a lower whisper. "We'll see tomorrow, at the council, what she thinks what we should do with the ring. Maybe that will give us some insight on if we can trust her or not. "

"Just don't go blaming people who might be innocent, my love," She said affectionately to him, "That's all."

Aragorn laughed "Muriel is innocent until proven guilty." He agreed. But I shall still keep a close eye on her, he thought. He looked back to where she and Legolas was sitting, he had a feeling that his elf friend would be even harder to convince then Arwen was. He hoped that their friendship would stand the test, if she was allied with Sauron.

*****

The singing went on the rest of the night. Unlike what Muriel had thought Legolas had seen when she had been reaching for his hand, Legolas hoped that she would start reaching for it again, but she didn't. He looked over to his new companion she seemed to glow in the light, he knew that he would have to give up his immortality to love her. He knew that his father wouldn't be too happy with him falling in love with a mortal, after loosing his mother his father was very protective of all of his sons. She's worth it though, he thought looking at her. She was intently listening to the music. Maybe they could live together with her parents. She seemed nice enough, so her parents would be probably the same. Or if they didn't approve maybe they could live here in Rivendell, she seemed to like it here, and Elrond wouldn't probably have a problem with it. I am getting ahead of myself, he thought to himself. I don't even know if she feels the same way about me, but deep down inside he knew that if they did feel something towards each other. He couldn't go on for 50 years courting her, like most elves with their lovers, he would have to speed up there relationship** (Elves go a minimum of 50 years courting someone). He remembered the first time he saw her, he had been going to get some water for himself and his horse. She had been sleeping next to the river, and at first he thought he was dreaming. He didn't move, in the beginning, in order not to disturb her, but then he gathered his courage and went toward her. Her face was so peaceful and serene. He knew at once that he had to talk to her, her eyes fluttered open at once when he had spoken to her but when she gave no sound he was afraid that she couldn't talk. He was so relieved when she first spoke to him that he didn't mind her harsh words. Legolas smiled, he couldn't believe that it was only a day ago that they first encountered each other, he felt that she was like an old friend and he could tell her anything. He felt he could do anything when he was with her.

The singing stopped probably for the hundredth time that night. Even though it was late Muriel felt if she had just came out of a slumber. She was both excited and scared. Excited because for once in her life she felt extraordinary, and scared because she knew that she was falling in love. I can't fall in love, she thought, my father will call me off the mission if that happens. She wanted to love him but she knew it would never work out. Her father would never approve, even if he was a pegacorn. She remembered when her father was a much kinder man, before her mother died. Tears came to her eyes for the memories after were very agonizing.

"Are you alright?" Legolas asked anxiously.

" Yes, it's just this song is so beautiful," she lied, for the music had started up once again. She couldn't tell him, even if he knew that she was a pegacorn, she couldn't tell him about her mother. She wiped the tears from her eyes. Legolas gave her an uncertain look, he knew that she was lying but he didn't want to push the subject. He knew a painful memory had just played in her mind but he didn't have the slightest idea what it would be or what triggered the memory to be remembered. He hoped it wasn't something that he had done as the dawn slowly crept into the room.

** Legolas means that he will have to get married to her sooner than most Elves would.

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