The Undying Lands - (chapter 43)
`Still in Gondor,' murmured Nimtheryn hopefully. Ariengil looked up quickly and smiled. `Yes,' he shouted happily, `we are still in Gondor.'
Everyone sighed a breath of relief and looked at the map that Nimtheryn had drawn on the ground. Ariengil laughed aloud and glanced at Nimtheryn nervously. `Nimtheryn,' she began, `how can you tell where we are from a pile of dust that you have scraped through with a stick?'
Nimtheryn sighed, rolled his eyes and looked at Nieninque who giggled uncertainly. `Just trust me, Ariengil, alright?' he asked. Ariengil nodded and looked away.
Ariengil watched nature curl her arms around everything in sight as she wished she were home, with Harma, as it had been what seemed like years ago. A beautiful hummingbird flew past, reminding Ariengil of the time that she and Harma had spent by a lake together. A hummingbird had flown past them as they gazed across the lake while they watched sunset.
*As Ariengil lay in Harma's arms, she lay back and sighed. Everything was so perfect- she was with the one she loved, in a beautiful place as the sun was setting. It was so romantic; and Tarma, Harma's jealous twin, had not spoilt it.
Harma was completely still as he whispered to Ariengil. `Look there, my love,' he murmured, looking towards a beautiful bush of flowers. There was hovering a beautiful, red hummingbird. The little bird's wings were beating so quickly that they seemed to be a blur, but a high buzzing sound came from the wind being vibrated so quickly, and the drone sounded beautiful like a bee.
`It's beautiful Harma,' cried Ariengil happily.
`Hush, we do not wish to disturb it,' whispered Harma in Ariengil's ear. Ariengil opened her mouth to speak again, but Harma put his finger to his lips and said `hush' again. Ariengil nodded and smiled, looking again towards the humming bird.
A rustle was heard in the bushes and the humming bird flew away quickly, a red blur floating on the wind. Harma entwined his fingers with Ariengil's and squeezed her hand gently before quickly standing up. His hand was immediately on his hilt and he stepped forward as another elf came out.
Ariengil sighed- it was Tarma. It was always Tarma now; he seemed to be everywhere that Ariengil and Harma were- constantly following their footsteps, skulking like a shadow. Ariengil was fed up with seeing Tarma continually and he was very tiring, acting like an elfling the whole time.
Harma looked back at Ariengil and rolled his eyes. She giggled, but controlled herself as Tarma's eyes flicked remarkably quickly to her. He looked her up and down and his gaze made her feel uncomfortable.
`Tarma,' snapped his twin, causing Tarma to release Ariengil from his gaze, `what are you doing here?'
`More to the question,' snarled Tarma, `what are you doing here?'
`I am spending time with Ariengil, what does it look like? Stop following us the whole time.'
`It looks like you have forgotten something.'
`What would that be then, creep?' shouted Harma. His brother's eyes flashed, yet the cruel smile stayed complacent.
`Your duties to our father. He wished for you to be in the armoury at midday; look, the sun has nearly gone to bed, you are late.' Harma looked from his brother to the sun, and from the glowing sunset to Ariengil. His gaze rested for longer upon the latter as he sighed deeply.
`I must go, my love,' he murmured as he walked to Ariengil, `and I must go quickly. Run with me, will you? For I do not wish you to be alone with him.'
`I would run to the ends of this Middle Earth with you my love,' whispered Ariengil.
`And I with you.' *
`Ariengil?' shouted Nieninque in exasperation. Ariengil looked up quickly, with a content smile on her face.
`Uh huh,' murmured Ariengil cheerfully.
`What are you smiling like a child for? Did you hear nothing Nimtheryn said?'
Ariengil looked up in shock at her friend who was staring at her as though Ariengil had said something completely out of the ordinary. Nimtheryn was looking offended, yet he seemed to be enjoying Ariengil's bewilderment.
`He said something?' asked the confused maiden. `What did he say?'
`He said-' Nieninque was cut off by Nimtheryn's deep voice repeating his previous sentence.
`I said that we are not far enough away from the maze to stop worrying, and we are not close enough to Gondor to be rejoicing. We are near, but not near enough. Tarma will be following us soon, in a fury, either to take you, or to take Gondor. He could even try to take both.
`I now know where we are. Well, I have guessed where we are, from tales I have heard of this place before. We will have to make our way to Gondor from here, but it will be a slow and dangerous journey. We have to hope that Anrad and his company succeeded in reaching Gondor after-' Nimtheryn stopped and looked up quickly, worried that he had said the wrong thing.
`After Harma's terrible death,' choked Ariengil. She regained her composure and looked Nimtheryn in the eyes. `Where are we then?'
Nimtheryn looked around at where they were. The fields surrounding hat a golden haze from the light, the foothills of the Mountains around were coloured with grass and small flowers, and worn paths were trodden into the ground. There were no clouds overhead, yet the air was heavy, damp and cold. The sun was sinking, spreading it's gorgeous, many coloured lights across the lands. The three elves stood before a great jut of rock, settled on the edge of a cliff. There were the remnants of a fine tower and ancient stone upon this rock where there once had been a battlement and wall. The ruins of a fine fortress stood behind the three.
It was Helm's Deep.