Kaari's Story - Chapter 4

"Well, let's see," Gandalf said as he walked towards the stone wall. "Ithildin. It mirrors only starlight and moonlight."

As Gandalf spoke these words, the moon appeared from behind the clouds. The stone wall instantly began to glow. There was an odd pattern and something in elvish written across the top.

"It reads, `the Door of Durin, Lord of Moria. Speak, friend, and enter.'," Gandalf read aloud.

"What do you suppose that means?" Merry asked.

While Gandalf answered Merry's question, Kaari looked out into the lake that was behind them. She hadn't let go of Legolas's hand yet, and took a sideways step to get closer to him. She looked up at him. He seemed so strong, like Aragorn. She was glad that he was there for Aragorn was always to busy to notice her.

Legolas saw the fear in her eyes. He felt sorry for her.

"Don't worry. It wont be as bad as it looks," Legolas said, trying to comfort her. `At least, I hope.' Legolas thought to himself.

After many tries, Gandalf was still unable to get the door to open. Legolas found the only tree around and leaned against it. The hobbits were busy throwing rocks into the lake, while Sam and Aragorn were releasing Sam's pony, Bill.

"Legolas?" Kaari asked, walking over to him.

"Yes, Kaari."

"I'm-I'm scared," she muttered.

Legolas gave a comforting smile and put a hand on her shoulder.

"Don't be. Dwarves are rude, but not dangerous. I'm sure their home wont be too terribly frightening."

"I heard that, elf," Gimli growled.

Kaari and Legolas laughed.

"What's the Elvish word for `friend'?" Frodo asked suddenly.

"Mellon," Gandalf answered.

The door suddenly opened. Kaari and Legolas walked into the cave, followed by Gimli. He started talking about how glorious the halls of Moria were, but Legolas wasn't listening. He was busy concentrating. There was something wrong.

"This is no mine. It's a tomb," Boromir said, looking around at all the skeletons on the floor.

Kaari let out a scream as Legolas left her side and pulled an arrow out of one of the corpses. He looked at it, then threw it down on the ground.

"Goblins!" He muttered. He pulled out an arrow and set it in his bow. At that time, they heard another scream as Frodo was pulled out of the mine. The whole fellowship rushed out to rescue him. But Aragorn told Kaari to stay where she was. She watched as Sam slashed at the tentacles with a small knife, and Legolas shot arrows at it. As soon as Frodo was freed, the fellowship rushed back in. But as they did, more tentacles shot out of the water and grabbed the stone wall. It collapsed as the monster pulled at it.

The cave was now pitch black.

Gandalf lit the stone in his staff. The light slowly lit up a small section of the room. As Gandalf talked, Aragorn searched the faces of the fellowship, to see if Kaari was alright. He panicked when he couldn't find her.

"Legolas, do you see Kaari?" He asked, interrupting Gandalf.

Legolas quickly looked around the cave and didn't see anything.

"Where is she?"

"Is she outside?"

"Kaari!"

"Maybe she got hit by a rock."

The whole fellowship began to speak at once.

"Quiet!" Legolas commanded. "All of you, hold your breath for as long as you can."

At once the cave fell silent. Legolas held his breath and began easing around the cave, listening. Eventually, he heard a shallow breath. He started walking faster in that direction, and the sound got louder. He looked down at the floor, and saw Kaari, laying there. She was unconscious.

"Aragorn, I found her," Legolas exclaimed.

Aragorn rushed to where the elf knelt on the ground. Gandalf walked over, and by the light of his staff, they could see that her head was bleeding.

"I need a cloth," Aragorn exclaimed. They heard a ripping sound as Boromir tore a piece of his tunic. Aragorn took it and placed it on her head. He held it there until the bleeding stopped.

"We have waited around long enough, we must start moving," Boromir urged.

"She's unconscious! She can't very well walk," Merry chimed in.

"Boromir's right, we must move," Frodo said.

"Someone will have to carry her," Gimli suggested, knowing he wouldn't be the one who would have to do so.

"I will not carry that... thing," Boromir said, seeing that eyes were resting on him.

"How dare you speak of her in such a way," Legolas yelled at Boromir.

"If you're so fond of her, I say YOU should be the one to carry her," Boromir countered.

"Very well, then. I shall," Legolas said.

He knelt down beside her and placed a hand under her upper back, and another underneath her knees. He slowly stood up. Kaari's head rolled to the side and rested against Legolas's chest.

"No, Legolas. I am her foster father. She is my responsibility. I will carry her," Aragorn insisted.

"No. Bormoir's right, I'll carry the child."

With that, the fellowship began to walk through the dark of Moria. At first, Legolas was able to keep up with the rest. But after a few hours, he began to fall behind.

Aragorn, who was walking behind Frodo, turned around and saw that his friend was getting pretty far back. He stood and waited for Legolas to reach him.

"My friend, you are growing weary, allow me to carry her," Aragorn offered, reaching out.

"No! I can carry her," Legolas said in a deffensive tone.

`Let's just hope she wakes up soon,' the elven prince thought to himself.

Luckily, they came to a fork in the path. Once again, the fellowship waited while Gandalf tried to remember which way to go. While Legolas was sitting against a wall, Kaari in his lap, he felt her stir.

"Ow, my head," she moaned as her eyes fluttered
open. At hearing her voice, Aragorn walked over to her.

"Are you alright Kaari?" Aragorn asked, stroking the young girls face.

"Yes, except for the immense pain on the top of my head."

Legolas gave a small laugh as he looked down at her. She felt his stare and looked up at him with a smile. She put an arm around his neck to help her pull herself up. When she was sitting up straight, she was right next to Legolas's face. The amused smile disappeared from the elf's face as he looked into her eyes. He realized, for the first time, that she wasn't a `child' as Aragorn kept calling her. She was almost a woman. Along with that realization came the notice of her beauty.

Kaari's heart leapt in her chest as the elven prince looked into her eyes. Why was he looking at her like that? And what was that strange feeling she got in her stomach when he did so?

Aragorn recognized the look that Legolas was giving the human girl. Now he knew why Arwen was worried about Legolas.

"Do you remember anything?" Aragorn asked, destroying the `moment' that was about to happen.

"I remember rocks falling," she answered. "What happened? Where are we?"

"That monster pulled down the cave. You got hit on the head by one of the rocks. We are still in Moria," Aragorn replied.

"Why am I sitting in your lap?" Kaari asked, turning toward Legolas.

"Legolas has been carrying you this whole time."

"Thank you, Legolas," Kaari said in Elvish.

"Your welcome," Legolas answered in the same tongue.

"Ah-hah! It's this way," Gandalf exclaimed.

"He remembered," Pippin said.

"No, but the air doesn't smell so foul coming from down there," Gandalf answered. He had been watching the scene between Kaari, Legolas and Aragorn. If Legolas wasn't careful, there would be some problems between the two friends.

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