The sorceress - My story. Chapter 1: Maiden.

**NOTE:

1) This is my first story ever (apart from the 2-pages-long English assignment from last year: A short story about a group of climbers...)

2) I have only read LotR in Hebrew (I live in Israel), because I failed to find it in English. Sorry about any mistakes that I make in that cause.

3) I haven't read the Silmarillion, for the same reason. Sorry again...

Walking up the Caradhras, cold and helpless, they were following Gandalf. The trail didn't allow them to walk freely, only in a row, following each other. The head of the row was the only one who could see forward, and that was Gandalf. Suddenly, they came to a halt.

The Strider tapped on Gandalf's shoulder. "What's wrong?"

Gandalf didn't answer, but instead, a smooth voice was heard, like the flow of the Brendywine. "Hello, Mithrandir. I'm pleased to meet you, at last," it said.

Gandalf stepped aside, allowing the company to see. In the midst of the snow stood a charming maiden. Her floral white dress was blending with the snow, but yet the maiden looked alien to this place. Her long, black hair was gliding in the wind behind her, like a bit of night. Her eyes came in contrast to that: green fields of fresh grass were shining in them.

She grinned broadly and looked at each member of the company in turn. "Ring Bearer. Your burden will become heavier with time. The other Hobbits," she said, smiling at Merry and Sam, "will show bravery, much more than anyone can expect of them. Gimli the dwarf, a visit to the house of your ancestors awaits you. Prepare yourself." Aragorn and Gandalf exchanged astounded glances. "Mithrandir of the sitary," continued the maiden, "your test is near. Legolas, prince of Mirkwood, you WILL find your place once this is over. Aragorn," her pleasant voice seemed to reveal emotions that she has failed to hide, "your way is hard to pass, but if you can't do it, then no mortal - or immortal - can." Her voice faded into a whisper. She took a deep breath and regained stability.

"Boromir of Gondor, your temptation is shared by wiser and stronger than you, but I suggest you overcome it as quickly as you can. But perhaps - " her face wore a thoughtful expression - "it is better as it is..."

Sam sent a suspicious glance at Boromir. Aragorn just looked at her, stunned. Her beauty rivaled that of Arwen's. Arwen was his love for a long time, but nevertheless... nevertheless...

"What is your name?" questioned Gandalf in a stealthy voice after a moment's pause. "What are you doing here and why?"

"My name is Hèbe," replied the maiden. "I've been here for a long time, because I am destined to join you."

No one could say anything about this peculiar announcement. No one but Legolas, who sensed no evil in the maiden. A smile appeared on his fair, Elven face. He said, "You are welcome to join us, but is our quest known to you? It is long and dangerous; we will not be able to stop or to slow down. Are you sure you can - "

"I can. I know your quest; I know its urgency. We mustn't lose time. Let us be gone." Hèbe smiled at the disappointed-looking Pippin.

She looked into Gandalf's eyes. The old wizard straightened and led on, as if obeying to an order.

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