Kaari's Story - Chapter 5

As they walked through the dark halls, Kaari kept stealing glances at Legolas. And every-time he looked back, that odd feeling in her stomach returned. The prince was handsome, but then again, most elven men were. But there was something different about the Mirkwood elf. He seemed more like a warrior than the elves of Rivendell. Like Aragorn.

Aragorn watched as his little girl stole glances at the elf. But something Kaari didn't see, was that Legolas kept stealing glances at her. `What is Legolas doing?' Aragorn thought. `She is just a child.'

"No," Gimli gasped suddenly.

"Gimli," Gandalf called after him, as the dwarf ran off the path.

Kaari and Legolas heard his sobs and followed the rest of the fellowship into a room.

"Here lies Balin, son of Fundin. Lord of Moria," Gandalf read off a stone coffin. He then picked up a tattered book, and began to read aloud. Kaari listened intently as Gandalf read the last entry of how goblins overtook the dwarvin halls.

"Here," Legolas whispered as he took two long knives out of his pack. He handed them to Kaari. "Why don't you hold these for me?"

Kaari took the elven blades. `Legolas must sense something I cannot. There must be something wrong.'

And there was.

Pippin accidentally knocked a skeleton into a well, causing a loud noise that alerted the goblins to know that the fellowship was there. Shortly after that, the sound of cackling and drums was heard. Legolas drew an arrow while the hobbits moved into the corner, and drew their swords. Suddenly, the roar of a cave-troll echoed through the room.

"Legolas?" Kaari whined, as the elf prince tossed an axe to Boromir.

"Not now, Kaari," Aragorn hissed as he stuck an axe in the door.

"What Kaari?" Legolas asked, walking backwards and standing next to her.

"Am I going to die?"

The whole fellowship turned to the young human. She had spoken the words that were on all of their minds.

"Not as long as I'm alive," both Legolas and
Aragorn answered. The two looked at each other in shock.

`She's MY foster daughter. What is that arrogant prince thinking, saying `Not as long as I live'?' Aragorn thought.

Then came the goblins.

Almost instantly Kaari ran to the back of the room. For the time being the goblins were being detained by the rest of the fellowship, but once they broke past Legolas, Aragorn, Gimli and Boromir, they headed toward the four hobbits and the human girl. Kaari held the two knives in her hands, though she had no idea how to use them. Two goblins came at her, their swords raised. Kaari considered fighting them, then thought better of it. She ducked as they swung their swords at her. As the blades entered the stone behind her, Kaari took the opportunity and drove a knife into each of their stomachs. She tried not to gag as their limp bodies fell to the floor.

Legolas saw this out of the corner of his eyes, as did Aragorn. They both made their way through the goblins to where she stood, trying to fight off another one. Legolas let an arrow loose and the goblin fell to the side. Kaari looked up and saw Legolas standing there.

"Thank you," she said, before he turned around and shot another goblin.

Then a terrible roar was heard, and this time it was closer. Suddenly, a cave-troll broke threw the wooden door. Legolas shot and arrow at the troll and the arrow pierced his chest with no effect.

"Ai, Elbereth," Kaari whispered.

At the same time, the cave-troll swung his club down at Sam, again and again. Sam crawled away and Aragorn and Boromir grabbed the chain around the trolls neck. The troll tossed Boromir to the side as easily as if he were a doll. Then, Gimli threw his axe at the monster, and yet again, the troll was not phased. The hobbits crowded into the corner of the room, and Kaari climbed up onto a ledge. Legolas climbed up next to her and told her to stay low. He quickly set two arrows in his bow and shot at the troll. This time, the troll felt the arrows and stumbled. Five goblins joined Legolas and Kaari in defense of their creature. Legolas roughly shoved Kaari off the ledge and set to killing them off. He took out another pair of long knives and stabbed a goblin.

"Legolas, behind you," Kaari yelled in Elvish as a goblin tried to sneak up on the prince. Legolas quickly turned around, stabbing the dark creature.


Both Legolas and Kaari turned to see what the loud noise was. The troll had gotten up and was swinging his chain at the elf. As the chain passed over, Legolas ducked, but kept his eye on the beast. The troll swung the chain down and across, but didn't manage to hit his target. By luck, after a few swings, the trolls chain accidentally wrapped around a column. Legolas quickly sprinted up the chain and climbed onto the trolls shoulders. Straddling his head, Legolas shot an arrow straight into the trolls skull. As the troll groaned and reared in pain, Legolas quickly jumped off. The troll broke the chain, and then went after Frodo. Seeing this, Aragorn charged at the troll. Kaari watched, hiding behind a boulder as the hobbit and the troll played hide-and-go-seek around a column. Before Aragorn could reach him, the troll caught Frodo. As the hobbit yelled his name, Aragorn jumped in front of the troll, holding a spear he had found. He rammed the spear into the trolls stomach, yet nothing happened. The troll grabbed Aragorn and threw him to the side. The monster pulled out the spear, then rammed it into the hobbit. The whole fellowship watched as the Ring-Bearer gasped in pain. Filled with rage, Merry and Pippin jumped onto the trolls back and started stabbing it with their small swords. The rest of the fellowship began to fight harder, wanting all of Sauron's creatures to die for killing the young hobbit.

Seeing no goblins near her, Kaari stood up and sprinted to Frodo's side, she was quickly joined by Sam. She started to turn him over, but she was distracted by Merry screaming as he was thrown to the ground. Gimli attacked the troll with both axes, and Gandalf stabbed at him with his sword. The troll roared in pain as Pippin stabbed him in the neck. Legolas stood in front of the troll and shot an arrow into the trolls open mouth. The troll stumbled for a moment before falling, dead. Aragorn ran to Frodo and turned him over. The whole fellowship gasped as Frodo tried to sit up.

"It's fine. I'm alright," he assured.

"You should be dead. That spear would have skewered a wild boar," Aragorn exclaimed.

"I think there's more to this Hobbit than meets the eye," Gandalf commented.

Frodo pulled open his shirt.

"Mithril," Gimli gasped as he saw the silvery metal.

"What's mithril?" Kaari asked no-one in particular.

"I'll tell you later," Legolas answered.

Kaari watched as her foster father made sure that Frodo was alright. She didn't know why, but she felt a touch of jealousy toward the hobbit. Aragorn was paying so much attention to him, yet when she was knocked unconscious by a falling rock, LEGOLAS was the one that carried her. Gandalf suddenly looked up, and Kaari saw Legolas's eyes widen. Just a moment later, Kaari heard the sound of clashing metal and the horrible cackling of goblins.

"To the bridge of Khazad-Dum," Gandalf ordered. The wizard led the way out of the room and back into a enormous hall. Holding Kaari's hand, Legolas ran right behind Gandalf. If there was any place where she could be safe, it was with the two of them.

Kaari watched in awe and in fear, as goblins came from the cracks in the floor, doors and even the ceiling. There were thousands of them. All of them trying to kill the ten friends. As the goblins finally encircled them, Legolas drew an arrow. Kaari instantly began praying in the Elvish tongue. But something unexpected happened. There was a roar coming from deep within the halls. The goblins instantly ran back to their hiding places. As a red light began to grow brighter and brighter, Kaari reached for Aragorn's hand.

"What is it, Gandalf?" She asked in a whisper.

"A Balrog. A demon of the ancient world. This foe is beyond any of you. Run!" Gandalf ordered.

The companions followed Gandalf threw the hall and into a tunnel. Boromir passed all of them and wasn't watching here he was going. The floor ended in front of him and he began to loose his balance. Legolas rushed forward and pulled him back. The fellowship continued to run down the stairs, until they reached a gap in the stone. A four foot gap. Now, Legolas jumped over easily and gracefully, but not all of them were elves. It was Gandalf who jumped next, then Boromir with Merry and Pippin in his arms. Aragorn threw Sam over, but when he started to toss Gimli, Gimli refused to let him.

"Nobody tosses a dwarf," he proclaimed before jumping on his own. Once again, if Legolas hadn't have been there to pull him up, Gimli would have fallen to his death.

"Okay, now you Ka-," Aragorn started. Then the stairs shook. "Kaari, go!" Aragorn ordered.

Kaari stood at the edge for a minute, hesitant.

"Come, on Kaari. I'll catch you," Legolas urged.

The stairs shook again, and Kaari took a deep breath before jumping. When she landed, her leg fell under her. Legolas's delicate ears heard her bone crack. Kaari let out a moan and bit her lip as Legolas helped her up.

`Is she alright?' Aragorn thought. Then the stairs shook a third time and they started falling backwards. Aragorn picked up Frodo, and adjusted his weight so that instead of falling backwards, the stairs fell forward. Aragorn and Frodo quickly joined the others. Legolas knelt down on one knee. Kaari fell against him and wrapped her arms around his neck. As he stood up, she wrapped her good leg around his waist. As fast as the others, Legolas raced toward the bridge.

"Over the bridge!" Gandalf ordered as Boromir and the hobbits ran past him. "Fly!"

As soon as the last person had crossed the bridge, Gandalf followed. Then he stopped in the middle.

Legolas gasped as Kaari's grip tightened around his throat. He felt her turn her head, and he turned around to see what she was looking at. What he saw was flame. A giant monster made completely of flame and darkness.

"You cannot pass!" Gandalf yelled as he faced the monster. "I am a servant of the Secret Flame, wielder of the flame of Anor. The dark fire will not avail you, flame of Udun!" Gandalf raised his staff and sword so that the tips touched each other over his head. A bright light shone, and as the balrog brought his whip down in the wizard, the light kept it from hitting him. Watching this, Aragorn stepped forward and felt an urge to aid his friend and mentor.

"Go back to the Shadow," Gandalf said. As the balrog stepped onto the bridge, Gandalf slammed both sword and staff onto the stone. The bridge cracked, and part of it collapsed under the balrog's weight. As his foe fell into the darkness, Gandalf turned to face the fellowship. Then, suddenly, the monsters whip flailed out of the pit and wrapped around the old mans leg. It pulled him backwards and off the bridge.

"Gandalf!" Frodo screamed. He started to run toward the wizard, but Boromir stopped him.

Gandalf hung onto the bridge by his fingernails.

"Fly, you fools!" He ordered, before letting go and falling into the darkness.

"No," Frodo yelled as he watched his dear friend fall. Boromir pulled him back and started running.

Aragorn stood there for a moment, unable to grasp the fact that Gandalf was dead.

"Aragorn," Boromir called, for the rest of the fellowship had already gone. Goblins shot at them as they headed toward the back entrance of the mines of Moria. They were all pleased to be out there. But none of them could act pleased, for the had all lost a dear friend. Merry and Pippin collapsed together in tears. Sam just sat down and cried, while Boromir kept Gimli from running back into the mine. Legolas set Kaari down, while he looked around at the rest of his companions. He had never known someone to die. He had never felt this pain before. Upon hearing a small sob from Kaari, the elven prince turned around and went to checking her knee. He carefully removed her boot and slowly, gently pulled her pant leg up past her knee. As he ran both hands up and down her leg, applying pressure to certain places, Kaari bit her lip and clenched her fists so that she wouldn't yell. He applied a small amount of pressure to the place on her leg only a few inches from her knee. Legolas was about to ask if that hurt, but the look of utter pain on Kaari's face answered his question. He took out his two remaining arrows and broke off the ends. He then took a cape out of his pack and ripped off a long section of the cloth.

"Hold these here," Legolas told Kaari, showing her where to hold the two arrows on either side of her leg. He wrapped the cloth around her leg, arrows and all. He tried to do it gently, but firmly at the same time.

"Legolas," Aragorn said suddenly. "Get them up."

Legolas stood up and walked over to Merry and Pippin, almost in a daze at seeing all the pain.

"Give them a moment, for pity's sake," Boromir protested.

"By nightfall, these hills will be swarming with Orcs," Aragorn explained. "We must reach the woods of Lothlorien. Come Boromir. Legolas. Gimli, get them up."

Noticing that Frodo was nowhere in sight, Aragorn began looking around.

"Frodo?" He called. After finding him, he called his name again. Frodo stopped walking and turned around. The hobbits eyes were red from crying. Frodo walked back to where the others were, not saying a word.

Legolas, again, got down on his knee and Kaari climbed up onto his back. But this time, he had put the things that he was carrying on her back so that she would be more comfortable. As he walked, he felt her head rest against his and could feel her fatigued breathing on his neck. Every once and awhile, he would feel her body shudder.

`The poor girl,' he thought to himself. `I know that Gandalf was like a grandfather to her, and now he is gone. And just her luck, her leg is broken.'

As he felt her body starting to go limp, he stopped and shook her a little to wake her up. He asked her if she could move her right leg, just a little, and then she could go to sleep. She let out a groan, but did as he said. Legolas grabbed her leg from under her knee, and slowly moved it so that it too was wrapped around his waist. He made sure that she wasn't going to fall, and sprinted forward to catch up with the group. Kaari was asleep only a short while later. Legolas caught up to Aragorn.

"Just in case you're wondering, Kaari's leg will be easy to heal," Legolas whispered, not wanting to wake her up.

"What?" Aragorn asked. He had too many things on his mind and didn't remember her incident in the mines.

"Her right leg, it's broken. She broke it when she jumped," Legolas explained.

"Oh, thank you for taking care of her, Legolas," Aragorn muttered before falling deep in thought.

Legolas just sighed and shook his head. He didn't blame his friend for having trouble on concentrating on one girl when he was in charge of escorting the Ring-Bearer to Mordor. But he SHOULD be able to concentrate on his foster daughter for a moment.

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