Warrior Maiden - Chapter Six

Later that same day, Ohtarwen was in the stable grooming Falmar.
"There you go, boy." Ohtarwen told him rubbing his neck, his coat shining. "You're as handsome as ever." Famlar snickered and nodded his head; Ohtarwen smiled and laughed at his response.
She took his saddle off the railing and laid it on his back. When she was finished, she leaped onto his back and yelled. Falmar reared in the air and snorted and galloped out of the stable. Ohtarwen directed Falmar out of the city and into the woods. They raced across the forest and through rivers. The trees and branches were but a blur in her vision as she rode; the sun was low in the sky and the forest was getting dark. When they were crossing through a thick grove of trees, they did not notice a horse and rider coming from Ohtarwen's left. The two horses spooked and rose up in the air each screaming. They pawed at the air in front of them. The man on the other horse was entirely unprepared and flew from his horse to the ground. Ohtarwen held tight to Falmar's mane and remained in her seat; she quickly tried to calm him but he was still nervous.
"Fool! Watch where you are riding, boy!" the man yelled at Ohtarwen, getting up and brushing himself off.
"I am no boy, sir!" Ohtarwen steadied Falmar and flung her hood off to reveal her face. Her hair was down, her face flushed from the excitement and her eyes flashing with anger. The man looked shocked then embarrassed.
"I beg your pardon, M'lady. I had no idea you were a girl!" The man said. "But, may I ask as to why a maiden, such as you, is out in the woods alone? I would think you would need protection."
"Sir, I have been riding in these woods for many years. It is not I who needs protection. Tell me, why are you here in these woods?" She asked, turning the questions on him.
"I am Boromir, son of Denethor. I journey to Rivendell to seek Lord Elrond's council."
"Lord Elrond is my uncle."
"Really? What a coincidence. May I ride back with you?"
"I was not done with my ride. You can go on by yourself, if you like. It is not long, just back that way a ways." Ohtarwen told him, pointing back the way she had come.
"Alright. Good day, M'lady." Boromir got back on his horse and rode off.
"M'lady?" Ohtarwen shivered, thinking that was to old an address for her. She nudged Falmar into a trot and continued on her way, though a bit slower and more alert.
Soon Ohtarwen returned to the city and put Falmar away. She decided to go to the library to read while there was still some light. She made her way down the path until she came to the door and went in. Ohtarwe breathed in the familiar scent of the old books and papers. She crossed the room and picked up a book that she had been reading the other day. Suddenly, she heard someone speaking. She recognized the voice as Boromir's.
"Why is he in the library? What is he doing?" she wondered. She tip-toed back and hid behind a table where she could see up on the balcony.
Boromir was standing in front of the Statue that held the broken sword of Isildur.
"The Shards of Narsil! The blade that cut the Ring from Sauron's hand!" Ohtarwen watched as he picked up the haft to try it out then ran his finger up the blade.
"I wouldn't do that." She said in her mind.
A small gasp escaped from Boromir's lips; he stared at his finger, a small trickle of blood escaped through his skin where he had cut himself.
"It's still sharp." Slowly he turned and saw something. Ohtarwen followed his gaze and found Aragorn sitting a little ways from Boromir holding a book. He was watching Boromir closely.
"But no more than a broken heirloom!" Boromir carelessly threw the sword back and began to walk away, the haft bounced off the table and landed on the ground with a loud crash that echoed through out the library. Ohtarwen closed her eyes. Boromir stopped for a moment then went on. Ohtarwen opened her eyes and saw Aragorn get up from his seat. He walked over to the fallen sword, carefully picking it up, he set it back in its place. He stood back and stood there in silence, deep in thought. From the corner of her eye, Ohtarwen saw Arwen silently walk towards Aragorn from behind.
"Why do you fear the past?" she asked him quietly, barely audible for Ohtarwen. "You are Isildur's heir, not Isildur himself. You are not bound to his fate."
Without looking up from the sword Aragorn sighed.
"The same blood flows in my veins." He turned and faced Arwen. "The same weakness." He hissed. Arwen stepped closer.
"Your time will come. You will face the same evil, and you will defeat it. A si I-Duath u-orthor. U or le a or nin." She spoke in Elvish. Ohtarwen thought it best to leave them alone and quietly escaped from the library without being detected. Slowly she walked down the hall thinking about the conversations she had just overheard.
"The Shadow does not hold sway yet, not over you and not over me," she repeated what Arwen had said. "I wonder if that is my destiny, that I will have to face the same evil." Ohtarwen stopped for a moment. "But maybe I do not yet know what that evil is. Sauron is not the only evil in all of Arda, though he is the worst right now." She was now in the garden, walking back and forth talking aloud to herself.
"But, I wonder when Aragorn will face that evil? She said he would defeat it...." She stopped, thinking about these things in her mind.
"My! are we talkative." A man's voice said nearby. Ohtarwen whirled around seeking the face of the voice. Elrohir stood from where he had been sitting on a bench a little ways away.
"Elrohir!" Ohtarwen yelled angrily.
"You should be careful of where you discuss things with yourself. You never know who might be listening." He said matter-of-factly, walking over to the young girl. She stood in front of him still red with anger; then relaxed.
"Did you hear everything?" she asked a little embarrassed.
"Everything." He answered with a slight chuckle.
"Oh." She said, returning to thoughts. She walked to the railing where she rested her elbows and looked out over the valley. The light of the sun bounced off the moving water like little flecks of dancing stars. The trees gently danced in the wind; birds sang their songs, calling from one to another. The valley was full of life, just like Ohtarwen. She felt Elrohir come next to her and stand next to her, his back leaning against the railing.
"So what were you talking about anyway?"
"I was just thinking aloud."
"You do not want to tell me? Alright." Elrohir nodded his head and was quiet. Ohtarwen was also quiet. Then she broke the silence.
"Do you think what I said, was right? About how my destiny could be to face that evil which I do not know?" she finally asked, needing to talk to someone.
"Perhaps. Or you could be completely wrong."
"Uhg! Elrohir! I'm serious! Can you please give me straight answer, your own opinion." Ohtarwen said exasperated turning to him. Elrohir grew serious.
"Listen, I honestly do not know. All that I know is what my father has told me, and he has instructed me not to tell anyone, especially you."
"You don't know how much this means to me! I don't know what to do. I don't want to wonder what they meant by destiny. Is my destiny to live? Or could it be to die? What does it all mean?!"
"I cannot tell you!" he told her.
"Come on! Please! I need to know! I'm...I'm scared of what it might be." She finished quietly.
"Come here." Elrohir coaxed, gently put his arms around her and pulled her into his embrace. "I've known you your whole life, you've been like another sister to me. I've seen you at your worst and at your best. You have spirit and strength, and that is how I know you will live through all of this." He told her, looking into her scared eyes. Ohtarwen nodded.
"Thank you, Elrohir." She hugged him back, then they both walked off together to eat dinner.

When Ohtarwen arrived at the dining table, only Arwen, Aragorn, and Elladan were seated, the Hobbits had already eaten and were off talking together.
"Where is Elrond?" she asked, taking her seat across from Arwen.
"We don't know. Usually he's the first one here." Arwen replied. Ohtarwen noticed and extra seat set at the end of the table. She did not remember hearing about any guest coming. The four sat and waited anxiously for their father to come for dinner. An elf came out and told them.
"Lord Elrond has instructed me to inform you that he will be late for this evening's dinner. He said to go ahead and start without him."
"Alright!" Elladan cheered. They piled their plates high with delicious food. They all began to eat contentedly. Five, ten, fifteen minutes passed; still Elrond was no where to be found. Finally, they heard footsteps down the hall, two pairs of feet. Elrond appeared in the door-way; behind him stood another Elf, Legolas! Ohtarwen froze when she saw him. Quickly she got up from the table and came over.
"Legolas! Why are you here?" she asked, giving him a quick hug.
"My father sent me here to deliver some news to Elrond, and to stay for a few days with my cousins." He said smiling. "I see you five are enjoying dinner." He said looking at the bountiful-filled plates on the table. Ohtarwen chuckled. Elrond took his seat and Legolas his.
After dinner, Ohtarwen went walking out in the garden. The night was dark, the stars like jewels in the sky. The silence of the city was enchanting, almost too quiet.
"I thought I'd find you here." Aragorn said, walking up behind her.
"Aragorn! We haven't been able to talk very much since you've arrived." Ohtarwen said quietly.
"You're right. I've been meaning to talk to you about something." Aragorn told her, as if it were bad news. Ohtarwen turned to him, her height reaching well over his shoulder.
"What is it?" She looked at his face, it was full of pain.
"It is about your father."
"My father? You've seen him?" she asked breathless. "Where? When? Why didn't you tell me?" Aragorn laid his hands on her shoulders and looked her in the eyes.
"I saw him. He was traveling with me a few years ago. He fought bravely."
Ohtarwen searched his eyes, hoping for an explanation.
"What do you mean `fought'? He still fights." She told him.
"No, he is dead." Aragorn finally said. Ohtarwen shook her head and began to back up.
"No, no, no. He isn't. You lie!" She yelled. "He can't!"
"Listen to me! Listen!" Aragorn said firmly but gently. "You cannot change the past, no one can. He is dead." He told her. Ohtarwen broke away and ran down the hall. Tears began to swell in her eyes, but she desperately tried to hide them. Legolas was walking the other way when Ohtarwen ran into him. He saw her frightened and sad face.
"Ohtarwen, what is it? What's wrong?"
"Let me be! Please. Leave me alone." She begged. Legolas let her go, but followed her down the hall with his gaze until she disappeared. Ohtarwen fled to her room. Ohtarwen wept on her bed, her whole body shaking from the shock of her father's death. The tears flowed freely down her face and onto her pillow. The time seemed to stop; all other things did not matter. It was as if she were frozen in time, she could not believe that her father was dead. Even though she had not really known her father, she still knew that she did indeed have a father and hoped someday, she would finally meet him. But this dream was now lost and forever gone. She would never know her father.

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