“Sorry, carry on” Natalie prompted.
“Elves lived here in happier days,” Gandalf told them “Eregion was its name. The land and weather will be milder now, but perhaps more dangerous.” Gimli was gazing at the silhouette of some mountains in the distance, and his eyes lit up as he said;
“That is the land where our fathers worked of old” He motioned to Merry and pippin who were beside him. “Look! There is Barazinbar, the Redhorn, cruel Caradhras, and beyond him are Silvertine and Cloudyhead: Celebdil the White, and Fanuidhol the Grey, that we call Zirakzigil and Bundushathur-“
“Bit of a mouthful.” Natalie commented. Gimli ignored her, and carried on talking.
“There the misty mountains divide, and between their arms lies the deep-shadowed valley that we cannot forget: Azanulbizar, the Dimrill Dale, which the elves call Nanduhiron.”
Natalie looked at the mountains. The sunlight made the nearest glow blood red, and it looked a bit creepy. She wandered over to a patch of grass, and sat down, brushing her fingers on a stone.
Her eyes slammed open, and her breathing grew ragged. She could see an elf walking over to the place where the others were standing, but they were not there. The grass was green, and she could see a building in the distance. She heard a voice, deep they delved us, fair they wrought us, high they builded us but they are gone.
Natalie returned from where ever she had been, to hear Legolas say;
“high they builded us, but they are gone. They sought the havens long ago.” Natalie stood up hurriedly. Had he heard it too? she was aware of Gandalf watching her closely.
Natalie lay stretched out on her back, while the others talked. She listened with half an ear, but was busy thinking about what she had seen. Had it been her imagination? Had everyone seen it? She jumped when someone tapped her arm. It was Legolas.
“Mm?” she murmured.
“We need to light the fire. Could you move please, so we can get to that hollow there.” He motioned to it.
“yes. Sorry.” She stood up, and moved to the other side, and watched him light it. He stepped back, and walked back to the others. Natalie stayed behind, thinking. A small voice in the back of her mind that she assumed to be her conscience was nagging her to ask Gandalf about what had happened. Nah. She thought, it was probably my imagination, or something. Nothing important… she battled fiercely with the voice until she felt too tired to stay awake. “I’m going to sleep now. Good…afternoon.” She turned over, not bothering to take out her sleep roll.
Natalie awoke to the sound of snoring. Someone had put her roll over her. She sank back down again, but found she couldn’t sleep. She got up as quietly as possible. “What on earth is that?” she said. Oops, she’d probably woken everyone up. She looked around. No, everyone was still asleep. Except Aragorn. Where was he? She looked back at the thing that had cough her eye. It looked like a rain cloud, but it was moving very fast.
She was suddenly knocked over. “Hey!” she muttered. “What th-“
“shhh!” Aragorn had pushed her to the floor, and was lying next to her, his finger over his lips. He watched the cloud pass over them. Natalie realised it was not a cloud at all. It was a flock of black birds.
Pippin and Sam sat up. They must have heard the scuffle. Natalie stood up and brushed herself off with what dignity she had left. “Thank-you.” She said to Aragorn.
“you are welcome my lady.”
“Nononono! Not `my Lady.’ Natalie will do fine, since you tell me to call you Aragorn not `sir’. Natty is also fine.”
“Natty?” He said, his brow creasing.
“yes. I don’t know why, but all my friends call me Natty. But NEVER Nat. Nat is not good.”
“yes Natalie.” He sounded amused.