“Aliana! Open your eyes! Come back to us Aliana!”
She heard someone calling as she seemed to move through a tunnel of light. The closer she got to the end the louder it got. All of a sudden her body was laying motionless and the voice was coming from directly over her. The ground she was laying upon had chilled her to the bone and she felt her whole body start to shiver uncontrollably. As her body moved she heard her brother cry out, “She is coming back to us!” Slowly she opened her eyes to see the two men looking down at her. Aragorn ran his hand over her head and assured her everything was alright, that the battle had been won. She looked into Legolas’ relieved face. “You have passed”, she whispered up at him. He looked at her questioningly. “The third test.” She unwillingly closed her eyes and fell into a deep sleep. Gandalf spoke up. “We must find somewhere for her to rest as she heals. We must take her back into the Keep.” Legolas carefully picked her up and headed swiftly towards the gate with Aragorn and Gandalf walking astride. Legolas made his way back to the bedroom he had taken her to before the battle. Once inside he laid her on the bed and went to the fireplace to warm up the room.
Aragorn called to the elf. “What test did you pass?”
“There is more to work here than we realize”, Gandalf responded, cutting off Aragorn from interrogating Legolas.
Aragorn swung around to face the wizard, wanting answers. “This is my only flesh and blood and I have a right to know how she plays into all of this. Mithrandir, you cannot leave me blind!”
Gandalf, with a gentle smile on his face put his hand on Aragorn’s shoulder. He spoke softly. “My son, you know as well as I do that it is not our place to question our roles in this war. We can only trust that we were all put here for the good of all Middle Earth. Aliana does not question your role, as she proved to all of us on the battlefield. You must give her the same respect.”
Aragorn lowered his head. As usual Gandalf was right. Whatever her purpose was, he had to trust and accept it. He turned and grabbed a chair that had been placed in the corner. If nothing else he would sit by her side and at least give her comfort when she woke.
Legolas had a roaring fire going in the fireplace. He knelt in front of it, caught up in his own thoughts. A personal war had been raging inside of him for the last couple days, from the time Aliana had been brought into his life. The chemistry between them was undeniable to everyone around them. He knew that even Aragorn could sense it. But they were from two different worlds. Two worlds that were never meant to come together. The more time he spent around her, the stronger the chemistry grew, and the more he knew that they could not be together. A voice in the back of is head reminded him of this constantly. But when he saw the blue light emanating from her wound, he knew something had changed. And her words when she briefly woke confirmed this. He remembered the writing of the elders. But could this be possible? How could the writings from thousands of years ago be meant for him and the woman he loved? How could he be worthy of such greatness?
A knock turned Legolas’ and Aragorn’s attention away from their inner thoughts. “Enter”, called Aragorn. A boy opened the door and stood in front of Aragorn.
“Forgive me my lord, but the king wishes to see you.”
Reluctantly Aragorn pulled himself up from the chair. “Call for me if there is any change,” he stated to Legolas who nodded. He took one more look at his sister, hoping to see any sign of wakening. He took a deep breath, turned and followed the boy out of the room.
Gandalf took Aragorn’s seat next to Aliana and closed his eyes once he found himself comfortable. He gladly welcomed the chance to rest. Legolas repositioned himself with his back to the fire, intent on watching the sleeping woman. Much time seemed to pass with no change. Just as the elf had decided that it would be quite some time before she woke, he noticed movement in her left leg. It seemed to start shaking. It moved from one leg into the other. It only took a moment before her whole body seemed to shake. He jumped up and ran to the bed, calling out to Gandalf.
“Mithrandir, something is wrong.” Gandalf opened one eye and looked at her, seeming very nonchalant to Legolas.
“No need to worry my friend. It is the elf blood running through her veins. The shaking will stop once her body is used to it.”
Legolas stared up at the old wizard with a questioning look. “What does that mean?
Gandalf opened both eyes and smiled down at the elf prince. “It means there is nothing left on Middle Earth that can break the bond between you”, he said with a wink.
We return to the forests again. Our hobbit friend has lost all faith and finds the true meaning of apathy by the end of this chapter. He is taken captive by a band of elves and one human. This chapter suggests that some of his past will be revealed soon.