“Who is this I have to meet?” Mandy asked, puzzled, while Aragorn escorted her down the hallway.
Aragorn didn’t answer, but just guided her into a room. In the room stood an elf of amazing beauty, she had dark hair and dark eyes filled with the wisdom of many ages. She turned at the entering, and Mandy could see the love of Aragorn that filled her eyes. “Arwen, si Mandy.”* Aragorn gently pushed Mandy forward. Mandy felt awkward, feeling as if she should curtsy.
“Hello, Mandy.” Arwen’s voice was musical and wise.
“Hello… M’lady.” Mandy swallowed nervously.
Arwen laughed, “No need to be nervous, Mandy. I won’t bite.” Mandy laughed.
“I have some things I have to do.” Aragorn said, bowing first to Arwen and then to Mandy, “I will leave you two alone.” He walked out of the room and shut the door.
Arwen turned to Mandy.
“That is a beautiful color on you.” she said, looking Mandy up and down.
“Thank you. If I’m not being too rude, why am I here?” Mandy asked, blushing a little.
“Oh, Aragorn wished me to meet you, for one thing. And also to help you get ready for the feast.” She answered, leading Mandy over to a large wardrobe, “I will help you pick out a dress.” Mandy’s eyes grew wide.
“I can’t wear these!” she cried in amazement, realizing that they were Arwen’s, “These are yours!”
“Aragorn wished you to wear one of these.” Arwen laughed, “He has taken quite a liking to you. He has talked a lot about you, especially when you were sick.”
“He has?” Mandy had pulled on a light green dress, with jewels on the bodice. It had long sleeves and a pattern of leaves going up and down it.
“Yes. Look at yourself in the mirror.” Arwen answered, tying the sash.
“Wow…is that me?” Mandy turned around, “I look like a princess. I wish my parents could see me.”
A guard knocked on the door, “M’lady Arwen.”
“Yes?” Arwen opened the door. The guard whispered something to her, she nodded. The guard bowed out of the room.
“Come along, Mandy.” Arwen said, “Oh, we need to do something with your hair.” She ran a brush through it and pulled it back using a clip with jewels on it. “There you go.” Arwen led her out of the room and down into the hall.
Legolas and Gimli were in the hall, waiting for the hobbits. Legolas looked up and did a double take. He sank to one knee as the women stopped in front of them. “M’lady.” he kissed the hand of Arwen, then turned to Mandy.
“Oh, no. Get up.” she attempted to free her hand from his grasp, “Please, Legolas. Don’t bend your knee to me. I’m no royalty.”
Legolas grasped her hand tighter, still on one knee, “You are, M’lady. On my life, I swear to protect you.” He kissed her hand, then got up.
Mandy felt flattered and thought, “Wow. I don’t think I’m a princess. I know I’m Your daughter, Lord, but not royalty, am I?”
“Mandy?” Arwen’s voice brought her back to reality, “Legolas asked you something.”
“Huh…oh, I’m sorry.” Mandy blushed, adding to her beauty, “What did you ask, Legolas?”
“May I escort you to the feast tonight, M’lady?” Legolas asked seriously.
“On one condition,” Mandy’s eyes flickered mischievously, “you have to call me Mandy, M’lord.”
Legolas laughed, “Alright, Mandy.”
Arwen directed Mandy towards the throne room.
Gimli slapped Legolas on the back, “Good job, Lad!”
“Le na elen nin.”* Legolas murmured softly, watching Mandy go. Arwen glanced back as she heard Legolas’s words and smiled softly.
“M’lord? Lady Arwen and Lady Mandy to see you.” the guard announced. Aragorn nodded and looked at Gandalf.
“I have told you of my plan for Mandy. I will tell her now also.” Aragorn glanced up as the doors opened.
Arwen walked gracefully down the middle with Mandy following shyly.
“M’lord.” Arwen curtsied low, but Aragorn merely came down and swung her around joyfully. Their laughter mingled till Mandy couldn’t tell which was which. Aragorn set Arwen down and turned to Mandy. Mandy didn’t know whether to curtsy or hug him. The decision was made for her as Aragorn came over and hugged her. He then looked at her.
“Mandy. You are beautiful! Are you sure you don’t have royalty in your blood?” he teased.
“Yes, I’m sure.” Mandy laughed.
Gandalf approached her. “You seem all well, Child.” he smiled at her, enjoying the beauty of her once-pale face, now a healthy color.
“Yes, Gandalf.” she answered, “I am all well. It is only a mere scar.”
“I am glad,” Gandalf’s eyes sparkled from underneath his bushy eyebrows, “and I believe that Aragorn has something to ask you.”
“Oh…” Mandy raised an eyebrow.
“Yes, though I didn’t want to be rushed into it.” Aragorn glared at Gandalf, “Anyway. I talked it over with Arwen, and we would like to adopt you. You would be a princess of Gondor and our daughter.”
They looked expectantly at Mandy, waiting for an answer. Mandy stood there, stunned. Then she fell forward.
Aragorn caught her, “She’s fainted! Get some water.” Aragorn laid her on a couch. A few seconds later, she started waking up.
“Are you alright?” Arwen helped her sit up.
“Yes,” she answered, “did you say what I think you said?”
“That we wanted to adopt you?” Arwen responded softly.
“No!” Mandy shouted, shoving Aragorn away, “I don’t want to be adopted by you or…or anyone else here!! I am not staying here! I will be going home! I am going to go home!” She pushed Arwen away, and ran out of the room. Aragorn got up to go after her.
“No, Elessar.” Arwen restrained him with her hand, “I will talk to her. She needs a woman’s understanding.” She quickly followed Mandy.
Aragorn sighed, running his hand through his hair, “Gandalf…”
“Ah, Aragorn. She doesn’t want to accept that she may not be going home.” Gandalf consoled Aragorn, “She will get used to the idea. And she will get better.” Gandalf answered Aragorn’s other question.
Mandy went rushing down the hallway, tears streaming down her face. She ran straight into Legolas. He instinctively wrapped his arms around her and stopped her.
“Mandy? What is wrong?” he asked, seeing the tears still flowing down.
“Nothing, Legolas.” Mandy answered, wiping furiously at the tears that refused to stop, “Let me go. Please…” Legolas looked concernedly down at her.
“No. Come with me.” Legolas guided her gently towards the door.
“No! Legolas!” Mandy struggled to free herself, but his grip was iron.
Arwen came out and saw them. Legolas met her eyes and understanding passed between them. She nodded slightly. Legolas smiled and forced Mandy outside. He hurried her along towards the stables.
“Legolas! Where are you taking me?” Mandy ceased struggling.
“I am taking you to Mirkwood.” he answered, his face emotionless. Mandy looked up quickly.
“No, you wouldn’t. It’s too far and too danger…” the words died on her lips, seeing the look of determination on his face, “NO! I will scream for help.” She threatened uselessly.
Legolas pushed her into the stables, his grip still the same. He whistled and Arod, his horse, came trotting up. “Get on, Mandy.” he ordered gently.
“No! I won’t. You can’t make me…” the minute she uttered the words, Legolas grasped her around the waist and put her on.
“Anything else I cannot do?” he asked teasingly. Mandy glared at him and started to slide off.
“No.” he held her up and swung easily up after her, “Noro, melon nin!”*
Arod snorted, reared a little, and galloped out of the stables. Legolas guided Arod through the city. They suddenly came upon Gimli.
“Where are you two going?” Gimli asked gruffly.
“He’s…” Mandy started but Legolas interrupted, “I am taking her to see someone who will help her, Gimli.” Gimli nodded and they rod off.
“Help me? I don’t need help!” Mandy snapped angrily, “And I hate riding sidesaddle!”
Legolas laughed, “Well, swing your leg around, if you want.” Mandy glared at him, “Or not. And yes, you do need help. Aragorn has sworn to be your kinsman. The obvious thing would be for him to adopt you as a daughter. I see by the look on your face that you did not know this.” Legolas told her, urging Arod into gallop. Arod needed little urging as they were outside the city and in flat country.
“My…my kinsman? I didn’t know. Why would he do that?” Mandy was shocked.
“Maybe because he has taken a liking to you and wishes you to have a home.” Legolas said gently.
“I do have a home! I have parents! I don’t want new ones! I am not staying in Middle Earth. I am going to go back home!” Mandy yelled, spooking Arod.
“Easy, Arod. Mandy, I didn’t mean…” Legolas tried to calm her.
“I don’t care what you meant! I don’t want to be here!” Mandy slid off Arod and raced into the woods. Legolas was after her in a second.
“Mandy!” he called out, “Mandy!” Slipping off of Arod, he told the horse to go. Glancing around, he soon found her footprints. They were random and going deeper into the forest. “She is running with no direction. She is going deep into the forest.” Legolas thought, running tirelessly after her.
This is Mandy
You are my star
Ride, my friend