The Sorceress - Chapter 4: The Lady and the Eagle

~Prologue to chapter 4:
After Gandalf's fall and Hèbe's confession, they moved on. They crossed the Nimrodel, and after some time they met Haldir. They stayed in his Tallan that night.~

Haldir gently shook Aragorn's shoulder. "Good morning!" he said.
Some blankets stirred to the sound of his voice. Everyone woke up.

"Good morning," Aragorn replied sleepily.

Haldir laughed. "You sleep like a tree - it takes many efforts to wake you up..."

"We haven't had many opportunities to sleep in safety lately," said Boromir. "If it IS safety here..."

Aragorn looked at him warningly and he stopped. Haldir departed to the other Tallan while they started to gather their belongings. Gimli looked at Aragorn and noticed he was looking for something. "What do you search?" he inquired. "Have you lost something of your belongings?"

"All of my belongings are present, Gimli," answered Aragorn, "but where is Hèbe?!"

At that time, Hèbe was standing on a hilltop. In front of her stood a great, noble eagle,

"How will you know if I need you?" Hèbe continued what she was saying earlier.

"I would recognize your voice from the greatest distance, my Lady."

"I see, tricky eagle - the Calling Spell. Any particular word in your treacherous mind?"

"Treacherous, my Lady? No. I merely wish to come when you need me. Is it wrong to serve my Lady?"

"Enough of this, Gwaihir, enough. Now, you mustn't forget: I need you to come as soon as you hear my cry. You must be quick, even quicker than usual. Remember that if it should so happen that your help would be needed, it is likely that I will not be in a state allowing me to help you. The Duel - " Hèbe shuddered at the thought - "is going to be fierce."

Hèbe lifted her hand. "Go now. Your sons await."

The eagle bowed low as he could, stretched his powerful wings and took off.

Hèbe lowered her head and stood there, gazing at the golden leaves on the ground. A look of pain was in her eyes as she struggled with her fear. She has been too arrogant, too self-secure. Only now she realized it. But what was done could not be changed. She has already called that fate on herself when she challanged the Lord of the One Ring.

"Oh, father," she whispered to herself. "I need you now so much. What would you have done now, father? How can I overcome the fear of what is to come?"

Suddenly, she felt reassured. A sense of acceptation came upon her, and she looked up and started walking. But there still was the feeling of unease, which was not fear of the future...

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