She woke in the morning. At first she forgot where she was, and called for Aragorn. Then she remembered being brought here. She sat up and looked curiously around. It was a large room, with beautifully carved beams. As she surveyed the room, she saw another bed with a person in it. He was on his side away from her, and his left-hand was bandaged.
“Who is that?” she wondered, then felt for her own bandage, “Oh. It’s still just a scar. But they set my ankle while I was sleeping. Good.” She swung her legs out of bed, and started to get up.
“I wouldn’t do that if I were you.” a soft voice said. She looked around to see the stranger watching her.
“Why not?” she asked, but got back into bed.
“They would be very angry and make you stay in bed even longer.” his light blue eyes twinkled mischievously.
“Are you speaking from experience?” she grinned back at him.
“Who me?” his eyes opened wide at the accusation.
Suddenly a knock interrupted their playful banter. A young woman about Mandy’s age walked in with a tray.
“Ah, good. You’re both awake. Here’s your breakfast.” she gave them each a plate. Mandy whispered a question. The nurse nodded and helped her out of the room. The young man watched them go.
“It’s been a while since I’ve seen a girl.” he thought to himself, “Course it’s been a while since anything.” He fingered his hand. They soon returned.
“Now, stay in bed. Both of you. Miss, you’ll have to excuse Mr. Frodo because he might have some visitors. If they get too loud, just ring the bell.” the nurse left and closed the door quietly.
Mandy ate breakfast and studied the young man next to her. He was very pale, had dark brown curly hair, which made his light blue eyes stand out. She couldn’t tell anything else about him, only that his eyes had wisdom and sadness beyond his years. His eyes also held much pain. He was studying her just as much as she was him. He could tell from her eyes that she had also been in a battle against shadow.
“She is tired, and has been pierced by some poison of some sort…” Frodo’s musings were cut short by poundings on the stairs, “You’d best be ready for a lot of questions. Some of my kinsmen are coming to visit.” Before Mandy could answer, the door flew open and three hobbits came racing in.
“Frodo!” “You’re awake!” “How are you feeling?” all of them spoke at once, till one of them yelled, “Alright! Give him room to breathe, why don’t ya?” Sam looked down at Frodo, “How are you feeling, Mr. Frodo?”
“I’m feeling much better, Sam.” Frodo answered, smiling. So far, Mandy hadn’t been noticed.
Suddenly, Merry noticed her, “Mandy!” She smiled softly. All at once, the others were bombarding her with questions.
“Hold it!” she shouted over the din, “I can’t answer you all at once!”
They just ignored her and continued asking questions. Then Legolas walked into the room. She gave him a pleading look. He marched sternly over to Pippin, grasped him by the collar, and pulled him back. The others immediately looked at him.
“Now. I don’t want you bothering Mandy or Frodo, who both need their rest. You may ask them one question each, and then leave.” he said firmly.
“What is your name?” Pippin asked.
“Mandy.” she laughed.
“Why are you in Frodo’s room?” Sam asked, a little more suspiciously than the others.
“I don’t know why. You’ll have to ask the nurse or whoever is in charge here. I was asleep before even getting brought in.” she answered, thinking, “He must be a good friend of Frodo’s.”
“Well, Master Merry. You’re the only one who hasn’t asked a question yet.” Legolas looked pointedly at him.
“Yes, but I was trying to think of a good one.” he stayed quiet for several more seconds, “Ah! I’ve got one! How did you get hurt in your side?”
Mandy suddenly went very quiet. All the hobbits stared as her face grew dark.
“You…you!” Legolas roared at Merry, coming at him.
“No. It’s alright, Legolas.” Mandy said softly, “I got shot with an orc arrow. Legolas, Gimli, and Aragorn saved me. They helped me get better and brought me here.” She finished and sat quietly, her eyes looking off into space.
“So that’s what happened to you.” Frodo breathed, understandingly.
“Come now. Be off with you!” Legolas sent the hobbits out, “If you can do anything to help her, Frodo…her body is healed, but I fear her mind is still wounded.” Legolas shut the door behind him.
Frodo said nothing, but gazed at Mandy with understanding in his eyes.
“I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to…” she began.
“No, it’s alright. I understand how you feel.” Frodo said, “I too have had a wound like yours, although mine was given to me by a Ringwraith.”
“Who saved you?” Mandy asked, looking at Frodo with interest.
“Fortunately, Glorfindel found our group. I was taken to Lord Elrond. He healed me.” Frodo answered, “But who healed you? You were not close to anyone I know of that could…” He left the sentence unfinished for he saw that he had awaken things that she hadn’t thought about.
“I don’t know who healed me. I was delirious or dreamed most of the time. When I woke, I was in between Gandalf and Aragorn.” Mandy thought aloud, “Yet, I don’t think they healed me. I think it had to do with my dream. It was so real. It was as if it was a battle for my soul.”
“Maybe it was, if all that you’re saying is true. Gandalf would have been able to heal you if he could. But maybe he wasn’t allowed to. Would you mind telling me your dream?”
“No…I guess not.” she told him everything she could remember, up till the part where she slept peacefully in His arms, like a baby, “That’s all I remember. The last thing I recall is hearing Him, my Lord, sing to me.”
Frodo sat in wonder, “You mean to say that you know the One?” he asked, astonished.
“Yes, I guess you could call Him that. If what you mean is that He is the only One who can save you, then yes.” Mandy answered, surprised to find that they knew about Him.
“Yes. That is Him. I wonder if Gandalf knows…” his thought was cut short when the door opened.
Aragorn and Gandalf walked into the room. They were both pleased to see Frodo and Mandy sitting up and talking.
“Aragorn!” Mandy said in surprise and tried to get up. Suddenly, he was next to her, pushing her back into bed.
“Oh, no. You stay in bed.” he chuckled as she glared at him, “Frodo. It’s so good to see you so well.”
“Thank you, Aragorn. It’s good to finally be rid of it.” Frodo smiled up at Gandalf, “And it’s especially good to see Gandalf.”
“Thank you, my dear hobbit.” Gandalf laughed quietly, “You should be able to leave the Healing House tomorrow.”
“When you do, we would be honored if you would stay with us for a while.” Aragorn offered. Frodo nodded his agreement.
“When can I leave this place?” Mandy asked.
“Are they treating you badly, M’lady?” Aragorn teased her.
“No! That’s the problem. They’re treating me too well! I can’t do anything for myself without someone racing over to help.” she went off, “I want to do my own things! I want…” She broke off as she heard them laughing, “Ooo! Take that, you!” she threw her pillow at Aragorn. He ducked it easily, but it hit Legolas square in the face.
“What’s going on?” he laughed.
“They’re making fun of me!” Mandy yelled good-naturedly, “Do something, Legolas!”
“Oh, you mean…this?” Legolas asked and slammed the pillow into Aragorn. He then proceeded to race over to Mandy and use her as a shield.
“Come now, Your Highness. You can’t hit a girl.” he teased from behind Mandy, “It wouldn’t be proper.”
She twisted around trying to look at him, “Oh, be a man, Legolas!”
“Ah…but I’m not a man. I’m an elf, which entitles me to be able to do this.” Legolas swooped her up.
“Oy! Put me down, Elf!” she shrieked.
“Sorry, unable to do that seeing as how I’ve got not only an angry man trying to get at me, I’ve also got an angry hobbit and mad wizard. So, no. You’re going to have to put up with me for awhile.” he laughed as she hit him playfully.
“Aragorn! Help me! I’m being kidnapped by a crazy elf!” she said in mock terror. His face was stern, but his lips were twitching noticeably.
“If you don’t let her go, Master Elf, I’m afraid I’ll have to send mad hobbits after you.” Aragorn came at him.
“No thank you. I would rather not suffer such a fate. Say goodbye to your supposedly rescuers, Fair Maiden. You won’t see them again!” Legolas backed out the door.
“Oh…do something. Gandalf, you’re a wizard. Come on!” Mandy said half seriously, starting to struggle.
“I’m sorry…I can do nothing.” Gandalf winked at Legolas, “I’m afraid you’re stuck with him.”
“Wait…I…” Legolas bore Mandy swiftly out of the room, cutting her off.
“Will she be alright, Gandalf?” Frodo asked.
“With Legolas? She couldn’t be safer if she was in the arms of me or Aragorn. No, this will be good for her. Gets her mind off of her wound.” Gandalf said the last bit thoughtfully, “Elrond is still here because of the wedding. He may lead her there.”
“That would be good for her.” Frodo thought back to when he paid a visit to Elrond.