I can’t remember what the room they feasted in was called. Um…that’s all you need to know…I think….
Two men halted in front of her, she raised the branch.
“Uuma dela” (don’t worry) said one
“Lle amin” (I’m not) she replied, then she froze. That
wasn’t English. How did I do that? She thought.
“Lle rangwa?” (You understand me?) The men exchanged looks, then smiled knowingly.
“Yes, but lets talk something else, I’m getting a headache” she flexed her grip on the branch. “Where am I?” the younger looking one, well…he didn’t have grey hair, put it like that. His hair was dark and long, and he wore…she swayed…she was exhausted, and dizzy. The other held a staff and wore a grey cloak.
“You are in rivendell, lady” Natalie dropped the branch.
“Umm…I’d better be going…” Before she could run off, he grabbed her arm.” I’m afraid that is not possible. Let us feed you before we explain…”
Natalie was taken to Elrond’s “house”, it was huge! it looked more like a palace! on the way, they talked.
“May I enquire your name, lady?” asked Elrond. (that’s who she guessed he was) she struggled to take her wrist from his hand.
“Natalie, Natalie Pearse, sir.” she said “you can let go, I’m not going to run away.” he released her hand.
“I am El-“
“I know who you are.” Oops. She thought, as they stared at her. “I…er…heard you talking in the woods.” She said lamely. They carried on.
She was put into the care of a female elf, who showed her to her room. She was too tired to say she wasn’t going to be staying. It was beautiful, she had a view of the river. She washed, and combed her hair. It had uncoiled from its bun, and her clothes were torn and muddy. She did not know how. She was about to put her old clothes back on, when the elf gave her a white dress. It was white and had long sleeves, it was cut just below the collarbone. The elf then laid white flowers in her hair. This is mad. This whole place is mad, I’m in a book. no. I’m dreaming. that’s it.
“Tula, vasa ar’ yulna en i’mereth” (come, eat, drink of the feast.) said an elf, and took her gently by the hand, to the feasting hall. Inside, she was taken to a seat between Gandalf and Bilbo.
“Um…hi.” said Natalie. “I still don’t know why I am here.”
“Ah…well…that can wait till afterwards. right now, you have people to meet!” she was dragged off to shake hands and get to know everyone. A few times, Gandalf whispered something in their ear first. they would smile knowingly, and say hello. She astounded people by knowing elvish, speaking to them fluently and not realising it!
back at the table, Bilbo said;”Hello good lady. hmmm….” he studied her closely, and motioned to frodo, who was next to him. “She doesn’t look like a big person. there’s something different……the hair?…..eyes?….skin….” he went on in this manner for a while, before she said; “I’m not from around here. I’m Natalie. how do you do?” she laughed at his puzzled expression. “it means ‘how are you?’ “
A gong sounded. Food was brought in. Bilbo took her plate and put food on it for her, chattering all the while. Frodo watched with a smile.
“Bilbo! I don’t think humans eat as much as us hobbits.” Natalie laughed again. “tell me why I am here Gandalf” she said turning to him. “when can I go home?”
he sighed. “there are many worlds. pathways to each world open and close. this particular one opens every blue moon-“
“but a blue moon never happens! that where the saying ‘once in a blue moon’ comes from!”
Gandalf pointed at the moon. “oh.”
“blue moons happen every 25 years-“
“25 years! I’m going to be stuck here for 25 years!”
“What will I do for 25 years?”
“I have an idea.”
“You want to join the fellowship?” asked Elrond
“Yes. I do.”
“But this is a dangerous journey. Are you sure you want to put yourself in danger?” asked Legolas. The whole fellowship was present.
“I don’t care about the danger. You need all the help you can get. Besides, you need someone representing races from other worlds as well.” she added, “I’ve got 25 years to burn.”
Elrond smiled. “I didn’t think of it that way. So be it.”
Natalie wanted to give him a hug, but decided not to.