Mount Doom or Bust part 3 - The Council... Among other things.

Dining, Dancing and a Directorate

Danielle and Shelly were sitting dreamily in their own quarters, thinking of the night before them. Kristy had come to Mag's room, in a dark, crimson dress that went beautifully with her hair, golden and fair, which she'd put up, and in it sat a white flower.

"Wow, dressed to impress or what?" Magan laughed with a wry look in her eyes. Kristy nodded with a wide smile, her millions of white teeth shining like millions of light bulbs.

"I saw Boromir today."

"What?" Mag asked, distraught and confused. "Like, as in this afternoon? He isn't supposed to be here until night."

All Kristy could do was shrug and grin moronically. She went to a cabinet of dark, rich wood and opened it. She searched through. The Elves had been incredibly generous, and given each of the girls dresses and assorted jewelry to go with it. Every time Mag put on one of the gowns, she felt like a princess in a far away land. Which, hey, the second part was pretty much true.

"Ah-ha!" Kristy said at last, and walked over to Mag, who was sitting on the bed. "Put this on. You look wicked in white, it really brings out your eyes." Magan took it and inspected it. The chest was lower than she liked, but put it on any way. Kristy looked for a necklace or something. It was big on her, originally made for Kristy, but it almost looked like it was supposed to be. The shoulders dropped, and the rest moved as a slight breeze drifted in.

"Here. This is cool." Kristy has a silver circlet. She gave it to Mag, then thrust a brush into her hand. Mag brushed it, and almost fancied it grown at least an inch. Now it was a little past the shoulders. After setting the circlet upon her head, the two went, just as many bells rung out through Imladeris, signaling the feast begun.

Mag sat in an artistically carved chair, gazing about, mouth opened slightly ajar. Most of the people seated at the long table were elves. It was easy to pick out the Hobbits and the Dwarves that had traveled to Rivendell. Frodo was beside Sam, and on his right sat a Dwarf. His hair was pitch white, white as snow, and too was he clothed in that colour. A chain of gems and gold hung around his neck. It was Gloin. Gimli was beside his father, and he was eyeing the elves quite skeptically. Mag would have laughed if she wasn't in such wonder. At the head of the table was Elrond, sitting tall and elegant. Glorfindel and Gandalf were at his right and left. Mag didn't have to wonder which one was Glorfindel, it was rather obvious. He was smiling as he talked across the table with another elf, who's hair was dark. One Magan had never seen before (do you guys know who Figwit is?), but still seemed familiar (he's the Elf who sat beside Aragorn at the Council). Kristy's hearty laugh rose above the others about her. Boromir was there beside her, and Mag was surprised. He didn't look corrupt with the bright smile upon his lips. Merry and Pippin were beside her, and Shelly was there as well. Danielle was at Mag's right, and she was in a dark green dress, the sleeves very long, causing entertainment for the ones around her to watch her try to eat. Her hair was up, a few strand spiraling down to her shoulders. Shelly's hair was curled in large curls, and to Magan it was a mystery how she got it like that, and her dress blue with speck of silver in it.

Mag listened to the Elves about her talk. Their voices were like music, fair and melodious. Danielle signaled her ('['and']' are the things that represent sign-language)

[Where do you think Aragorn is?] she wondered, looking about.

[He's talking with Elladan and Elrohir, I think. They were out in the Wild. They had something to tell him, but I'm not sure what.] Mag was overly proud of the fact that she knew this, after reading the book a good 15 times. Danielle nodded, and didn't bother to ask how she knew. Instead, she jerked her head a little ways down her side of the table.

[What?] Magan thought she might be motioning towards Pippin. [You think he's cute?]

Danielle thought about this for a moment. After nodding, she said [Not that far down.] she jerked her head again, and saw ...

"Whoa." Mag never had thought Legolas could possibly be that attractive. She shook the mere though from her mind. Danielle was laughing, and Mag blushed. After eating and consuming quite a bit of wine, she found she was comfortably full. There was much more talking, and Mag tried to get one of them into telling her somesort of tale from years gone by, but they said naught.

"There will be enough of that to come yet tonight," they said simply. So she sat back, disappointed, occasionally talked to Danielle, and otherwise, tried to guess whom the other people around the table were. At last, Elrond and Arwen stood. Mag, for the first time now, actually noticed Arwen Undomiel. She was very beautiful, and Mag was envious of her for some reason. It was actually the first time that she'd seen Arwen, for she had in fact been unconscious when the elven princess came to the Brunine. So, the two elves led the way through pillars of many, and eventually to a large hall. A large fire was lit, and as Elrond sat in his seat, music began to play. The Hall of Fire began to be quickly filled with an assortment of individuals. Magan wasn't planning on long stay, as already she was growing sleepy. She was searching for Kristy, when accidentally, she bumped into someone else.

"Oh, I'm sorry." She said, and found herself talking to Boromir, son and heir of Denethor, Lord of the Tower of the Guard. Boromir nodded courteously, but Mag grabbed his arm. "Hey, wait."

"Yes?" he asked simply. He seemed in a hurry.

"Have you seen Kristy anywhere? You know, the blonde you were talking to at the feast? I've been looking for her, but can't find her."

"Yes, in fact I am going to see her now. Come." He turned, and Mag went. Kristy was with a group of Elves talking, and suddenly, they burst out into laughter, probably over something Kristy had said. She held her hand up, then left them, and walked with Magan for a while.

"You put new meaning to 'life of the party', Kristy." Laughed Magan. "Having fun?"

Kristy nodded, and sighed as they began to walk over to a large group of listeners, they giving ear to someone sitting on a stool in the middle. "Tons." And she went on about what she had done and talked about. Again, she sighed contently. "And Boromir is so sweet."

"Oy!" Mag hit her head with the palm of her hand. "He kind of creeps me out."

And so they pushed themselves into the group. In the middle was Bilbo sitting on a stool, and he just finished a song, which, though Mag had not heard it, knew it was about Earendil, among other things.

"Now, we had better have it again," said and Elf with bright yellow hair, which shimmered in the Fire's light.

"I am flattered, Lindir, but it would be too tiring to repeat it all." Bilbo said after rising from a low bow. So the argument went on, and Mag felt herself getting almost too tiered to stay on her feet. She bid Kristy and the others good-bye, and went back to her room. As she lay in bed, her thoughts were on the next day, rather than the night, which had passed by quickly. She sat up quickly. She'd forgotten to speak with Elrond! So she set out, but was not met by Elrond, though the two elves had a likeness.

"Lady Undomiel!" Mag said with a half curtsy. Arwen smiled.

"Good evening. Why are you not at the celebration?" asked the elf in a misty voice.

"I was tiered. I was just going to talk to your father, actually. Is he still in the Hall?"

Arwen nodded. "In deed, he is. But why do you wish to speak with him? Is there something that perhaps I can help with?"

"I... do not know." Mag said. "But I was going to ask him about the Council tomorrow. My friends and I wish to attend. We are interested to see what will become of the Ring."

Arwen's eyebrows rose. "You speak with much ease in your voice when you speak of It. Perhaps you are underestimating what it is we are dealing with."

"I am not underestimating anything." Mag said. "I understand fully what the Ring's might and ability is." Arwen nodded.

"I will speak with my father. Go back and rest. The Council is being held early, and you need rest for you seem much wearied."

"Just like that?" Mag asked. "Thanks." and she turned and headed back to her room for a long rest.

Being violently shaken awake, Mag wondered if there was an earthquake. She almost said 'Balrog' as a joke (you know, part of someone's list of reasons you are obsessed with LOTR?), but was then pulled up and out of her comfy, warm bed.

"Get read, hurry." Kristy snapped. "It's almost time for the Council! It's in, like ten minuets!" Kristy pulled Mag by her hair to the water basin then dunked her into it. Mag was covered in goose bumps all the way to her toes.

"Kristy!" cried Magan. Kristy thrust come items of clothing into Mag's hands, and ordered her to get ready. Kristy had obviously been up early; her hair again neatly pinned up, but no flower. She was unadorned by any jewelry, and her dress was grey and tight fitting. Mag put on a dress the colour of the night's sky, though it was velvety, and somewhat resembled Arwen's dress which she wore at the Brunine, but just a bit. Mag didn't have time to comb her hair, and the two tore out of that room, almost leaving tire marks.

The Council hadn't quite started yet, and Mag was relieved. She'd been afraid of being late. There were two empty seats, one by Boromir ("Cute coincidence," muttered Magan) and one between Aragorn and an elf (Figwit). There were three also left beside a blonde elf, but Mag knew these were for Gandalf and the hobbits, who were not there.

"Hey," she said to Aragorn when he looked at her curiously.

"Good... morning," he said, still looking at her oddly. Mag looked around to see what they were waiting for. Gandalf, Bilbo and Frodo still hadn't arrived. This led her to believe the council would be based on the book. Yay. So again she turned to Strider.

"So, were you at the feast last night?" she asked, trying to make conversation, even though she knew he wasn't and why. Aragorn shook his head slightly.

"Nay, I was not. I had other... circumstances to attend to."

"Ah. Ok." Mag said. She considered asking him what, but thought better of it. At last, she saw Frodo and his older cousin scuttle across the terrace to their seats, followed slowly by Gandalf. When they sat, there was a slight pause. Elrond stood and spoke.

"Strangers from distant lands, friends of old. You are summoned here to answer the threat of Mordor. Middle-earth stands on the brink of destruction. You will unite or you will fall. Each race is bound to this fate, this one doom." Elrond spoke with such emphasis, Magan actually thought something bad was happening (sarcasm). Also, this wasn't the book-council at all. Mag could have jumped for joy, but didn't want to look like an idiot. Not that the book-council was boring. It just droned on and on and on...

"Bring forth the Ring, Frodo." Elrond said, beckoning the hobbit forward. Frodo put the One Ring on the stand in the middle, then sat back down, and seemed relieved to have the burden off his chest. Then Mag noticed something.

[Where is Shelly and Danielle?] Magan signed to Kristy, but so no one else would notice.

[They decided to use a more 'original' entrance.] she said with a smile. Mag nodded. Kristy looked up at Boromir as he stood.

"It is a gift, a gift to the foes of Mordor. Why not use this Ring?" he began to pace around, getting a good look at everyone and trying to make his proposition sound reasonable, though obviously it wasn't. Bad thing was, Kristy seemed to generally agree. "Long has my father, the Steward of Gondor, kept the forces of Mordor at bay. By the blood of our people are your lands kept safe. Give Gondor the weapon of the enemy. Let us use it against him."

"You idiot..." Mag muttered, head in her hands.

"You cannot wield it. None of us can." Aragorn countered from Mag's left. "The ring answers to Sauron alone. It has no other master."

Boromir looked skeptically at Aragorn.

"And what would a Ranger know of this matter?" he asked.

"This is no mere ranger." Legolas said, standing up, making it seem overly dramatic. "He is Aragorn, son of Arathorn. You owe him your allegiance."

"Aragorn?" Boromir said, with a sudden knew interest it seemed. "This is Isildur's heir?"

Magan felt something inside her burst. Very suddenly, she too was on her feet, reciting something she may not have written, but just the same needed to be said. "All that is gold does not glitter, Not all those who wonder are lost; The old that is strong does not wither, Deep roots are not reached by the frost. From the ashes a fire shall be woken, A light from the shadows shall spring; Renewed shall be the blade that was broken: The crownless again shall be king!" she opened her eyes, and looked around, and blushed. Everyone was looking at her, and it was embarrassing. She sat very quickly. Legolas turned back to Boromir, after listening to Mag's poem (though it was actually Bilbo's!!)(I love that poem thingy, someone should have said it in the movie).

"And heir to the throne of Gondor." Said the elf. Aragorn motioned for Legolas to sit.

" Havo band, Legolas (Sit down, Legolas.)" he said. Legolas, keeping momentary wary eye contact with Boromir, then sat. Boromir gave the elf, then Magan, then Aragorn a smug look.

"Gondor has no king. Gondor needs no king." Then he himself took his seat.

"Aragorn is right." Gandalf said. "We cannot use it."

Elrond rose for the second time. "We have but one choice. The ring must be destroyed."

Magan groaned, and covered her face in abashment, but not for herself. For Gimli.

"Then what are we waiting for?" he asked. Taking up his axe (does anyone know if it has a name? You know, like Glamdring, Anduril, etc?), he ran at the Ring, and brought his axe down on it as hard as he could. The axe, however, shattered, and Gimli flew back a few feet. Dwarves went to his aid, and Elrond looked at him with cool pity.

"The ring cannot be destroyed, Gimli, son of Gloin, by any craft that we here possess." He looked around at the others. "It was made in the fires of Mount Doom. Only there can it be unmade. It must be taken deep into Mordor, and cast back into the fiery chasm from which it came. One of you must do this."

Mag had the incredible urge to ask 'Why don't you do it?'

"One does not simply walk into Mordor." Boromir said, at last breaking the silence. Absentmindedly, he was holding hand with Kristy. Mag was surprised at how quickly the son of Denethor had taken a liking to her best friend. She wasn't sure if she liked this. "Its black gates are guarded by more than orcs. There is evil there that does not sleep, and the great eye is ever watchful. It is a barren wasteland, riddled with fire, ash and dust. The very air you breathe is a poisonous fume. It is folly. Not with ten thousand men could you do this. It is folly."

"Have you heard nothing Lord Elrond has said?" Legolas said, standing once again, opposing the mortal. He really didn't like the guy. "The Ring must be destroyed!"

And why Mag had that incredible urge to back him up again was beyond her...

"Yeah" she said, and stood and Boromir sighed angrily, obviously not liking being talked to like this, especially from a girl. "So shut your mouth!"

"Yeah, but what happens when Saruon takes back what is his?" Kristy said, taking the words right from Boromir's mouth. Mag was amazed that the blonde was speaking to her so.

"I will be dead before I see the Ring in the hands of an elf!" Gimli said, outraged. Then all hell broke lose. The elves looked like they could kill, even though Legolas held them back, having a little more sense then some of his companions.

"Never trust an elf!" Gimli shouted. Mag was about to pounce on the Dwarf (she really liked Elves), but then Kristy whipped her around.

"Hey! What is your problem, huh?" she asked, like Magan had mortally offended her, in saying the Ring had to be annihilated. She pushed Mag's shoulder a little.

"Frick off!" Mag said, eyes wide with fury. "The Ring has to be destroyed1 I can't believe you're agreeing with him!" she pointed at Boromir, who was bellowing at an elf. Gandalf's voice could be heard above them.

"Do you not understand, while you bicker amongst yourselves, Saruon's power grows! None can escape it! You'll all be destroyed!"

Kristy and Magan were now at eachother's throats, the Ring feeding them faulty anger and hate. Legolas was trying to separate them. At last, Frodo stood, understanding he had to do something. Understanding his fate.

"I will take it." He said. The bickering continued. So he said it louder, stronger. "I will take it!"

They all turn to him, amazed that such a little person would take on such as task. Kristy stood back, letting Mag up, who was helped to her feet by Legolas, though the elf's gaze was turned to Frodo.

"I will take the ring to Mordor. Though I do not know the way."

"I will help you bare this burden, Frodo Baggins, as long as it is yours to bear." He stood next to Frodo. Aragorn got up from his seat: he had not partaken the madness that had taken the crowd.

"If by my life or my death I can protect you, I will." He knelt in front of Frodo. "You have my sword."

"And you have my bow." Said Legolas, walking to him.

"And my axe." Said Gimli. He took his place next to Legolas, who had a look on his face that said 'Oh-no-not-the-dwarf,'.

"You carry the fate of us all, little one. But if this is truly the will of the council, Gondor will see it done." Boromir said. Kristy and Mag stepped in at the same time. They looked at eachother mournfully and apologetically, and silently said sorry.

"And if there is any way we can help-" Kristy said.

"-any way at all-" Mag added.

"we're there." They said together. They couldn't think of anything else, so they smiled kindly. Frodo gave a little grin. Then, Sam ran in, and Mag had almost completely forgotten about him. He squeezed in beside his master.

"Mr.Frodo's not going anywhere without me!" he said, folding his arms. Elrond smiled upon him.

"Indeed, it is hardly possible to separate the two of you, even when he is summoned to a secret council and you are not. Very well-"

But he was cut off, as Merry and Pippin ran in, followed by Shelly and Danielle.

"We're coming too!" Marry said, and the four took their place at Frodo's side. "And you'll have to tie us up in a sack to stop us!"

"Anyway," Pippin said intelligently. "You'll need people of intelligence on this sort of mission... Quest... Thing..."

Danielle glared at Merry when he said what he did next. "Well, that rules you out, Pip."

"13 compnaions..." Elrond said, and it sounded very weird. "So be it. You shall be the Fellowship of the Ring."

Mag and Kristy gave eachother a high-five, went to give Gandalf one, but he just stared awkwardly at their hands, and Shelly hugged Frodo, which, no doubt about it, probably caused some mental trauma. Pippin nodded.

"Right." He said, then licked his lips. "Where are we going?"

Silence. Then there was a cloud, clear slap as Shelly hit her forehead.

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