Caleb stood in front of his mirror and buckled his sword into place. He grinned, the Company was leaving
Rivendell in an hour and he didn’t want to keep them waiting. He drew Celebang and turned it in the light
of the rising Sun. The blade flashed like a deep orange flame. Caleb ran a finger down the length of the
flat of his blade and sheathed it.
A strange feeling settled over him, the same feeling he had had after his battle with the orcs. He shrugged, and stuffed the remainder of his eggs and toast into his mouth and washed it down with a gulp of cider.
He yanked the boots that Elrond had given him over his feet as he ran down the hall. Then he remembered what day this was in his world. December the twenty fifth. Christmas.
Colleen met him just outside the house with a smile and handed him a small heavy package and then walked away. Caleb turned it in his hand and then opened it. It was a knife she had had for several years and that he had always admired. It was made of Japanese steel and had a black and silver handle and a leather case and a locking blade. He grinned and slipped it onto his belt and went to hug his sister.
Aragorn, Gandalf and Elrond watched as the boy threw his arms around his sister. Elrond felt a pang in his heart. He wanted desperately to keep both of them and the young hobbits in Rivendell where they would be safe, but Colleen couldn’t stay anymore than the Ring bearer could and he felt that Alcarin should not be separated from his sister.
As Colleen released Caleb from her embrace she relized that he had been growing. When they had first come to Rivendell his head had just come to her shoulder. Now it reached the underside of her chin. She held him at arm’s length and studied him for a moment. He seemed more muscled, probably due to Boromir and Aragorn’s training. He had done much better in archery than she had, to Legolas’ delight, but
she was better with the sword.
“You’re growing again.” And with that she wandered off to find Glorfindel. She wanted to tell him good-bye and thank you.
She found him and without a single word threw her arms around him, she had grown incredibly fond of him in the last two months, he was her grand-nephew after all.
Glorfindel ran his hand over the girl’s hair and smiled. “Take care of yourself, Colleen. I hope we shall meet again, when all is over.” Colleen just nodded and hugged him tighter, hoping she wouldn’t cry. He would live to see the Lady Arwen wedded, but would she?
She pried herself away from the elf and went to see if Sam needed help with the baggage. She eyed Bill nervously. She was not overly fond of ponies. She liked them well enough when she was younger, but one had stepped on her foot last summer and broke three of her toes and she had been wary of equines ever since. Colleen helped Sam load Bill nervously, being careful to keep her toes away from his hoofs.
Suddenly Elrond came up behind her and tapped her on the shoulder. Colleen jumped and looked at him. He beckoned her a little away from the bustle of people. He silently handed her a large leather bound book and walked away.
Colleen blinked at it for a moment and then tucked it into her pack with a shrug. She was leaving most of her books here, where they would be safe when she returned, she knew well enough that she would be obliged to leave much behind and she intended to return to Rivendell. The only books she was taking were The Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit, her Bible and the Silmarillion and now whatever book Elrond had
just handed her. She decided to have a look at it as soon as possible.
Colleen went back to Bill and continued to load him up. Elrond was addressing the Company, but at present Colleen was ignoring him. She was too absorbed in keeping her toes whole. Bill gave the nervous human an odd look, he wasn’t used to people dancing around him.
Boromir chose that precise moment to give an earth shaking blast to his horn. Colleen jumped backwards and dropped a bundle on her feet. Unfortunately the bundle contained cast-iron pans and a bundle of dried meat wrapped in a blanket. The pan side of the bundle fell on her foot and she knelt to see if anything was broken and to pick up the bundle.
Colleen looked up just in time to hear Elrond say, “May the blessing of Elves, dwarves and men, and all the free people go with you and may the stars shine upon your faces.”
And with that the Company of the Ring set out.