Caleb sat on the bench waiting his turn. Colleen was fencing with Glorfindel who seemed to have taken a fancy to the girl. Legolas sat near by nursing his wounded foot. It was his own fault for standing behind the target, though perhaps Caleb should have warned him about Colleen’s skills in aiming at anything further than ten paces away.
None the less the two elf lords were determined to make sure Colleen would have a sporting chance in a battle. Caleb grinned, judging from the way his sister was wielding that sword it was fortunate for Glorfindel that it was unsharpened. He had been hit in the leg three times so far.
Colleen fought the elf happily. It relieved her homesickness for Gondolin, fencing with Glorfindel’s great-grandson. He looked just like him and for a time she could almost forget that she was not in Gondolin, could almost forget that she would never see her adopted father, brother and mother again.
Legolas grimly rubbed his foot. He would be limping for a week, but how was he supposed to know that she had such horrible aim? To actually shoot someone in the foot! He had decided to work on her aim later. As far away from the target as possible.
At that moment a tall dark hared man with keen gray eyes sat down next to Legolas and grinned at the elf’s bandaged foot. Legolas glared at Aragorn.
Aragorn watched the girl fight with Glorfindel and marveled. She looked as though she had been handling a sword for at least two months, but she couldn’t have been practicing with Glorfindel for more than a week. The elf lord had just returned from his scouting trip seven days ago and all of the other people with skill with the blade were still out.
Suddenly to the surprise of everyone present Glorfindel leapt in and with a peculiar twist disarmed the young human. Her sword flew across the stones and clattered to a stop about seven feet from the opponents. Colleen grinned sheepishly, shrugged and went to get her sword. Glorfindel smiled and began to teach her that particular trick.
Several hours later Aragorn came upon Colleen leaning on a balcony rail and watching the sun set and the stars come out with a strange look on her face. She had not seen him and as he got closer he saw tears rolling down her face. Every so often she would reach up and wipe them away with one hand. The look on her face was not so much saddness as longing. For what he could only guess. He walked softly away so as not to disturb her.
The next day Colleen and Caleb had the first serious arguement either of them could remember. They were under a tree in a small wood about a quarter of a mile away from the house.
“I don’t care what you say Colleen, I am going. I don’t trust you to stay in one piece anymore and I don’t want your guts spattered from Rohan to Gondor.”
“I am the oldest member of our family here. You are my younger brother, you have to do what I tell you and I am telling you to stay in Rivendell where you will be safe. How would I tell Mom that I lost her baby boy?”
“I don’t know whether or not you have noticed, but I am NOT a baby anymore. How will I tell our parents that you’re dead and I couldn’t save you because I was in Rivendell while the mountain troll had you for lunch? I don’t know whether it has occured to you or not, but no one is going to believe us when and if we get home. We’ve been gone two months already as it is and unless time runs here the way it does in Narnia, we are going to have a heck of a time explaining our absense when we get home.”
“We’ll cross that bridge when we come to it. For now it is enough to say that you are staying in Rivendell.”
“Then so are you. I will NOT be seperated from you again. Every time I let you out of my sight you go and do something stupid. The third time just might kill you.”
“It will not. I’ll be just fine and so will you because you are staying in Rivendell. I can’t stay, I promised Frodo my help. I intend to follow him at least to the point where Boromir was slain.”
“Well at least you aren’t planning to go to Mordor.”
“No, just the Paths of the Dead.”
“You heard me.”
“You can’t be serious.”
“If that was supposed to be a pun it wasn’t very funny. I don’t know what’s wrong with you lately, but I never know what to expect from you anymore, you aren’t the type for periolous trips.”
“Everyone came out in one piece, why shouldn’t I?”
“Because you’re not in the story.”
“Caleb, I’ll make you a deal. If Elrond says you can go with the Fellowship, then you can go.” Colleen congradulated herself for thinking of this. There was no way Elrond would let a ten year old go to Mordor.
Caleb held out his hand with a smile and they shook on it. Then a messenger came from the house, Elrond wanted both of them, as soon as possible.
When they got there they found Gandalf, the four hobbits, Glorfindel, Gimli, Legolas, Boromir and Aragorn.
“Colleen, do you still hold to your word that you will be a companion of the Ring bearer?”
“What will your brother do? He is welcome to stay here, if he will.”
Colleen looked at her brother and for the first time relized that he was a good four inches taller than he had been when they had arrived. He pulled himself up to his full five foot three inches and gazed straight at Elrond.
“I will go with my sister. This trip will provide her with too much trouble for me to allow her to go alone. I don’t trust her to stay in one piece, sir.”
Elrond looked at him in surprise, “This is not a trip for children. You do not fully understand the peril that lies ahead.”
At this Gimli spoke up, “He may be a mere boy, but he has the spirit of a warrior. If you are going to allow his sister, a girl of fourteen, you should allow Alcarin as well. I have seen him fight, and he has as much a chance to help as she or the young hobbits.”
Elrond blinked and seemed to be listening to a voice far off. A strange look passed over his face and he nodded. “Very well he shall go then. The Fellowship of the Ring shall be eleven. And you depart in seven days.”
Author’s note: I should probably mention that Elrond had agreed to allow Merry and Pippin go before Colleen and Caleb entered the room. Sorry, this is not my best work, I had a hard time finding the right words for this chapter.