The Untold Journey - Chapter Four -Of Dancing and Trouble
The Ranger stood before us in the grove, with a very serious expression, and looked each one of us in the eyes. "Lady Galadriel had informed me that there is to be a feast tonight in our honor. Tonight we feast and celebrate, and tomorrow we depart the borders of this fair land to the dark, evil land that fate has destined us to cross." Here he paused, and let that sink in. The next thing he said was on a lighter note, "Let not your hearts be troubled tonight. Be merry and enjoy the feast."
Later that day, a lady came down to our grove to get Alex and me, and take us to get ready for the feast. She led us up to a room high in the trees, and asked us which of the many dresses we would like to wear to the feast as she laid them out, one by one.
After a few minutes of looking, feeling, and dreaming, Alex chose a green velvet dress with gold trim and embroidery around the collar and sleeves. It would go perfectly with her red hair. I chose a midnight blue silky dress that had silver around the collar, sleeves, and a belt, the latter of which rested on my hips, and hung down almost to the ground. Alex was given gold shoes, and I was given silver sandals.
The lady who brought us there was a handmaid of Lady Galadriel, and her name was Amarië. Amarië braided Alex's hair, and brushed mine out to flow down my back. By that time, it was almost time for the feast to begin, so we followed Amarië down the stairs to the Great Hall.
At the head table sat Lady Galadriel and Lord Celeborn, who were surrounded by Aragorn, Legolas, Gimli, Boromir, and the four hobbits. Amarië led us up to their table, and sat us between Aragorn and Legolas. I sat beside Aragorn, and Alex sat between Legolas and me. Aragorn, Legolas, Boromir and Celeborn rose as we approached, and sat down only after we did. The hobbits were too busy talking among themselves to notice our entrance.
Along the walls of the room, were many long tables, seating hundreds of elves of Lothlorien. In the middle of the room was a dance floor; my stomach lurched at the prospect of dancing.
Celeborn rose and spoke, "We are here tonight to honor these fine guests that will depart our borders tomorrow. Let us feast and make merry in their honor." He sat back down and lines and lines of servants came in, bearing all sorts of things. I glanced down at the hobbits and they were all eyeing the food hungrily.
There was almost everything you could imagine: So many vegetables that you couldn't list them. More types of meat then you could poke a stick at. So much bread that it would take you a year to eat through it all by yourself, and probably enough wine and other drinks to fill the Atlantic Ocean!
We slowly ate our way through 3 delicious courses. I caught snippets of conversation between Legolas and Gimli. The dwarf was always yelling at the elf for some obscure reason. Among them being: eating too neatly, laughing at him, eating too much (while he himself had triple helpings of everything), and not talking to him (I wonder why).
Alex and I didn't talk very much to each other, but Alex talked tons to Legolas or Gimli, whoever happened to be listening. The hobbits talked amongst themselves at their end of the table. Occasionally Boromir would engage in conversation with Celeborn or Aragorn, and once, even Lady Galadriel for a brief time. I talked mostly to Aragorn, though I would talk if anyone wanted to. At the end of the third course Aragorn leaned over to me.
"Are you enjoying yourself, mi'lady?" he asked.
"Yes I am," I answered. "But it feels weird to be treated like royalty, because I am nowhere close to being a queen or princess. I'm just a normal girl."
Aragorn shook his head, swallowed, and said, "You are so much more than a regular girl."
I looked up at him, not comprehending what he had just said. People have called me `weird' and `strange,' but never in that way.
"You have a gift, Ivy, a gift. A gift to open people's hearts and minds to the truth. You help people back onto their feet after they have fallen on their journey. You help them stay their course. Living proof of that is sitting next to you, me. Had it not been for you, I would not be going down the path that I am now."
I smiled, "Aragorn, you have a gift, a gift for words, but what do you want me to do. There's a catch isn't there?"
He smiled broadly. "I would be honored if I would be the one to have the first dance with you, Lady Ivy," he said, standing.
"And how could I refuse the offer of a Ranger so sweet with words?" I said, smiling, and rising from my chair. Looking out at the dance floor, I saw many couples already dancing there, among them Amarië and an elf I didn't know.
Aragorn led me down some steps to the dance floor as the music changed to a livelier rhythm, and out we went. Twirling and spinning, walking and talking, we wound our way around the dance floor.
"Is my thanks given in do time, mi'lady?" Aragorn asked me.
"Yes it is, double the thanks I deserve," I said.
We stayed out on the floor for one more song and passed Merry and Pippin who had convinced elven ladies to dance with them, and Boromir dancing with Amarië. On the way back to our seats, Legolas and Alex waltzed by, and I winked at her.
Not long after sitting down, Boromir asked if he could dance with me, and I didn't decline, being polite. He led me out onto the dance floor and we started a slow waltz. He kept telling me that I would be a wonderful bride for a man of Gondor. I got the hint and decided not to answer. Relief flooded through me when the song ended, and I headed back to my seat. Legolas had already returned from dancing with Alex, who had been snatched away by Pippin, and they were now dancing in the middle of the floor. I sat down in my seat, not expecting to be asked to dance by him, but hoping, nonetheless. Legolas rose, and walked to my seat.
"May I dance with you, mi'lady," he asked, and how could I refuse?
He led me out to the dance floor, and we slowly weaved our way around it to the tune of a slow waltz.
"You look beautiful, Lady Ivy," he said, his sweet, honey-like voice falling around us as we danced.
"Thank you, Prince Legolas," I replied. I looked up into his eyes, and their pale-blueness enchanted me. I had told myself that I wouldn't fall in love with him, but I made the mistake of looking into his eyes. We danced for 2 more songs, and then Legolas received a tap on his shoulder. It was Gimli.
"Lady Ivy," said Legolas, "I thank you for that dance," and walked back to his seat.
If you have never danced with anyone that is not very coordinated on a dance floor, and about a foot shorter than you, you know how it feels to dance with Gimli. I'm just glad he didn't step on my feet, because that would really have hurt.
One song dancing with Gimli, and I was tired. So I walked very slowly back to my seat. Alex was still out on the dance floor, the hobbits scurrying around trying to cut in. My eyes swept the floor and found Legolas dancing with Amarië, and she was staring deep into his eyes, a very content smile on her face. Boromir danced with almost every maiden who would have him, and Aragorn was nowhere to be found. Concerned, I searched the high table, and the smaller ones, but he was nowhere to be seen. Looking behind me to the door, I noticed him closing it with him on the outside.
As close to noiselessly as I could muster, I got up from my seat, and headed toward the door. Before I could reach it, however, Alex came up from the dance floor and grabbed my arm.
"Galadriel wants to talk to us," she said in a low voice. She led me over to Galadriel's seat, and we waited for the Lady to speak.
"You are not of Middle Earth, and know of our plight?" she asked.
"Yes," said Alex.
"Because a man in our world wrote it down in a book. We know how it ends, and what must take place for it to happen that way," I added.
Galadriel's face was serious. "I will not push Aragorn to let you accompany him, for it is his decision, but if he allows it, promise me that you will do all in your power to make sure things happen as they should, no matter the consequences," she said, looking at us with her piercing blue eyes.
"We promise to do as you have said, if it is the will of Aragorn for us to accompany him," we said.
Galadriel's face broke into a smile, and she said, "Enjoy the evening."
Alex and I proceeded along the table o our seats, and Alex was almost immediately cornered by Pippin, Merry and Frodo, all wanting to dance with her, and as they squabbled, I slipped out the door.
The door opened into winding gardens of elanor and niphredil and other flowers of which I do not know their names. The path wound around the beautiful flowers and trees of Lothlorien, with benches here and there for you to sit on and enjoy the plants and sky.
I wandered a while, the soft sounds of twilight washing away any cares I might have had, and filling my heart with the sweet calm of water slowly meandering down a small stream in quiet woods. I could see why Aragorn would choose to come here on this night. Now I concentrated on finding him in the winding paths. On a hunch, I branched off the main path and down a small side pathway. It ended in a tiny grove of gorgeous mallorn trees, and in the center, sitting, staring at the sky, on a bench, was Aragorn. I walked up to him, my feet making no sound on the soft grass, and sat next to him.
"What would a Ranger be doing alone on a night such as the like of this one?" I asked. I was getting the hang of the way they talk here. He looked over at me and smiled slightly.
"Wondering at the fairness of this land, for it is likely that last time my eyes will see its remarkable beauty," he said.
"Remarkable indeed," I agreed. I didn't really want to leave Lothlorien, but Alex and I were going to be needed to make sure history went like it was supposed to.
"I have a feeling you did no seek me out just to look at the trees," Aragorn said, his eyes twinkling.
"You are right, I did not," I answered. "I came to ask you about tomorrow. Alex and I wish to accompany you when you leave." He started to say no, but I cut him off. "Hear me out," and he quieted. "Alex and I are not from Middle Earth at all. We come from a distant place where this quest had already taken place, and a man wrote all about it. Alex and I know what should happen and when, and have talked with Lady Galadriel about it. She has instructed us to do whatever we can to ensure that history plays out as it should."
"If the Lady has told you this, I cannot argue," Aragorn said.
"She said it is your decision if we go or not," I told him. "You decide yes or no."
"Another decision," he said, "and one I do not wish to make."
"You do not have to decide right now, just be thinking on it," I said. I stood up to leave. I took a step, and was overwhelmed by dizziness. I grabbed Aragorn's shoulder for support, and he looked up at me with concern.
"Lady Ivy," he said, "Are you alright?"
"Yes," I answered, "I just got dizzy, I'm all right. It passed." But that was a lie. I wasn't all right, and it hadn't passed. Pain was now emanating from my shoulder, and steadily growing in intensity. "I'll go back to our grove and get some sleep," I said. "I'll be okay." I took a few more steps back down the path, and I fell. The last thing I remember was hitting the ground; then I blacked out.
(So I can tell the whole story of what happens next, I'm going to write the rest of this chapter in third person instead of telling it first person from Ivy's point of view, since she's unconscious.)
Aragorn watched as she hit the ground, and rushed over to her. He shook her, and called her name, but got no response. He heard a voice singing an elvish song of Luthien, and recognized the voice of Legolas.
"Legolas!" he called. In a matter of seconds, Legolas was there. He rushed over to Aragorn and found him kneeling on the ground next to the limp form of Ivy.
"What happened?" he asked.
"I don't know. We were sitting and talking, and then she got up to leave and felt dizzy. She said it had passed, but obviously it didn't," said Aragorn hurriedly, "she took a few steps down the path and fell to the ground. She was unconscious when I reached her."
Legolas was hastily undoing the back of her gown so he could see her shoulder. One quick look told him all he needed to know. "It's infected," he told his friend. At these words, Aragorn paled.
"How badly?" he wanted to know, but his friend shook his head.
"I can't be sure," Legolas answered, "We need to take her to the healers. At least to a bed." Legolas picked her up gently, babying her shoulder, and Aragorn ran ahead of him.
The Ranger raced back to the Great Hall, and up to the high table. He told the Lord and Lady what had happened, and they followed him out of the hall.
They raced to the Lord and Lady's palace and dashed down the hall, checking in each room as they passed it.
Legolas had raced ahead to a room at the end of the hallway, and laid Ivy on the bed, placing a hand on her forehead to check for a fever, and found none. He hurried out of the room, and down the hall to meet Aragorn. They came into view and raced toward him.
"Lady Galadriel," Legolas said, "She has no fever, but is unconscious. Her shoulder wound is infected, though I am not sure how badly."
"Thank you Legolas," Galadriel said. "We need to change her out of her gown, please wait outside, both of you." She turned to Celeborn, "Find Amarië and send her here with bandages and water." He nodded, and left.
"I have athelas," said Legolas, handing it out to her in the pouch he kept it in.
"I do not know if athelas is strong enough," she answered grimly. "Please," she said, motioning to the door. Reluctantly, Aragorn and Legolas left.
"We should find Lady Alex and tell her what happened," Legolas said, his voice cheerless. Aragorn only nodded, his face pale.
Alex was taking a breather. It seemed like she had danced with all the hobbits and every single elf in the vicinity at least twice. She hadn't seen Aragorn in a while, but guessed that he was outside. Ivy had disappeared, but it was very than likely that she was with Aragorn outside, seeing as she looked up to him a lot. Legolas had said that he was going outside for air after dancing with her for a second time, and seeing how elves love nature, there was no telling when he'd be back.
She was sitting at her seat when she noticed Aragorn and Legolas walk in, looking rather glum. She walked over to them.
"Why so gloomy?" she asked them. Then she saw the look in Legolas's eyes, and it told her something was wrong, "What's wrong?"
"Lady Ivy was talking to me in the gardens. She got up and felt dizzy. She said it was nothing, but she took a few steps and fell. She hit the ground, and by the time I got to her, she was unconscious," Aragorn explained, his voice strained.
"Her shoulder wound was infected, so we brought her back as fast as possible," continued Legolas, "She is in Lady Galadriel's care now."
Alex choked back tears, "Can I see her?" Legolas nodded, and he led her back to Ivy's room. Ivy was still unconscious, and Alex insisted on staying by her side.
Legolas left Ivy's side to find Aragorn, and did. He was sitting in the grove they had slept in the first night, smoking his pipe.
"Aragorn," Legolas said cautiously, "What's wrong?"
"Legolas," he said, "I was the one who dressed her wound. I knew that it was infected, but I did not think it was serious enough to worry about. I told her later that it was infected, this morning in fact. Her wound was healing nicely, and she was fine all day until now." Here his voice gave out, and he put his face in his hands.
"Aragorn," said Legolas, placing a hand on his friend's shoulder, "Do not blame yourself. She would not have wanted that."
"I know," Aragorn replied, "I just keep thinking I could have prevented this."
"Only Eru knows why this happened, and he has a reason," Legolas said, giving Aragorn's shoulder a squeeze. "I'll walk you back to her room if you like, that way you do not have to explain this to four very nosy hobbits, a confused Boromir, and a very stubborn dwarf."
Aragorn smiled, and agreed, "I'll let you handle the dwarf at least."
So so soooooooooo sorry that this is like, centuries late. Please don't hurt me! *cowers behind computer desk*
Anyway, what did you think? Flames are fine with me. I NEED FEEDBACK!!!!!!!!!!