Elína – ~Chapter 7~

by May 12, 2004Stories

I was standing in the Golden Hall of Meduseld when Háma brushed past me to accost the visitors at the door. I walked forward to see if I knew who was there, however; I could not see through the throng of people who stood in front of me. “Who is here, Elína?” Amérgin questioned quietly as he pulled me away from the crowd to a spot closer to the throne. “I don’t know Amérgin. You’re taller than me, can’t you see?”
“No, but I think we will soon find our answer, they are entering now.” I stood on the tips of my toes as the four men walked in. One of then, an old grey man who wore a long grey cloak and clutched a white staff, was leaning on the arm of a younger male. The young man was tall and thin, his hair was long and blond, and to my great amazement he had pointed ears.
“Amérgin! I think the one aiding the old man is an elf!” I whispered excitedly. I had never seen an elf before and I was surprised that one would visit our halls at this time. There was another young man, this one a dark human had the hardened face of a soldier and walked with a sort of confidence that was rarely seen. He reminded me of a king, even though he, of course, wasn’t one. The forth man was of very short stature, and I saw that he was a dwarf. “And there is a dwarf too!”
“My lord, Gandalf the Grey is coming.” A cold whisper cut through the air. Gríma Wormtongue, I had forgotten he was present. He leaned toward the king, and whispered, “He is a herald of woe.”
“The courtesy of your hall is somewhat lessened of late, Théoden King.” The old man, whom I assumed was Gandalf the Grey, announced unabashedly as he moved towards my king. I noticed that Gandalf the Grey didn’t seem as old and decrepit as when he had first walked in, he seemed to swell with hidden power.
“He is not welcome.” Gríma whispered to Théoden. Théoden murmured something inaudible to Wormtongue and raised his weary voice in a question,
“Why should I welcome you Gandalf Stormcrow?”
“A just question my liege.” Gríma hissed. I turned and glared at him as he rose from Théoden’s side. “Late is the hour in which this conjurer chooses to appear. Lathspell I name him. Ill news is an ill guest.”
“Be silent.” The man called Gandalf ordered him. “Keep your forked tongue behind your teeth. I have not passed through fire and death to bandy crooked words with a witless worm.” I smiled mockingly at Gríma as the last words were said, in my mind he was just getting what he deserved.
Gandalf lifted his staff threateningly till it was a mere handspan away from Gríma’s face.
“His staff.” Gríma gasped, suddenly terrified. “I told you to take the wizard’s staff!” Wizard? The old man was a wizard? I had barely any time to think about it, for, almost as soon as Gríma finished his sentence, several of his burly followers rushed forward to attack the visitors.
“Théoden, son of Thengel!” Gandalf called, his commanding voice rising above the din around him as he strode forward through the brawl around him, “To long have you sat in the shadows.”
Behind him, the three other men were fighting like wolves with the henchmen. I kept my eyes on the battle, afraid that one of the visitors might be harmed.
“Amérgin, maybe you should go down and help them.” I said without thinking, as I turned and glanced up at his face.
“Help them,” He scoffed, “They are doing very well without me.”
I glanced back at the fight, Gríma Wormtongue was now writhing underneath the boot of the dwarf, who said to him in a deep gruff voice, “I would stay still if I were you.” I smiled triumphantly at Wormtogue’s treatment, he was getting even more of what he deserved.
“Hearken to me!” Gandalf commanded the king; who fidgeted underneath the gaze of the wizard, almost like a child caught doing mischief.
“I release you from the spell.” The wizard murmured quietly as he stretched his hand towards the king and shut his eyes in what seemed like deep concentration. I wondered if Gandalf was performing any magic, and was intrigued. Could he help Théoden? However; Théoden didn’t seem impressed and for the first time in days he laughed, but it wasn’t a very pleasant laugh.
“You have no power here, Gandalf the Grey.” He retorted mockingly.
The wizard flung off his grey robes, to reveal shining white ones as our hall was filled with light. I didn’t quite know what all of this meant, but Théoden seemed stunned.
“I will draw you Saruman, as poison is drawn from a wound.” Gandalf stated, as he advanced up the steps toward Théoden.
As Gandalf moved towards Théoden, I saw a flash of white in the crowd as Éowyn ran forward to aid her uncle. As she neared the throne one of the wizard`s companions reached out and grabbed her wrist, holding her back. “Wait.” He commanded. I frowned at this man’s treatment of Éowyn, ordering around the white lady of Rohan like she was a servant, but kept silent as the struggle between Gandalf and the king continued.
“If I go, Théoden dies!” The king whispered in a voice that was not quiet like his normal one. In reply, Gandalf thrust is staff forward, and Théoden fell backwards against his throne as though Gandalf had struck him, though; from the position I was standing, I saw that Gandalf had not.
“You did not kill me, you will not kill him.” Gandalf replied.
Once more the king spoke in a voice that wasn`t his own, “Rohan is mine!”
“Be gone!” The wizard ordered and once more raised his staff towards Théoden. The king fell back against his throne and fell forward slowly. Éowyn broke away from the man who had held her back and rushed forward to steady her uncle. As she helped him, I noticed a miraculous change. The years that had so quickly added onto Théoden, suddenly disappeared, and his eyes looked around actually recognizing people and things. He looked right at me, for the first time in months and I could tell he knew who I was. The king glanced down at Éowyn, recognition plain in his eyes.
“I know your face.” He whispered, “Éowyn.” Her eyes filled with happy tears. “Éowyn.” He repeated her name once more. His gaze strayed once more through the hall and he saw the wizard in front of him.
“Gandalf?!” He asked.
“Breath the free air again, my friend.” Gandalf gently murmured. As Gandalf said this, Théoden rose slowly, aided by Éowyn. Everyone in the hall, Amérgin and I included, sank to our knees.
“Dark have been my dreams of late.” Théoden whispered, glancing down at his hands.
“Your fingers would remember their old strength better if they grasped your sword.” Gandalf said smiling. Háma walked forward and respectfully handed the king his sheathed sword. Slowly, Théoden clasped the hilt, and drew the blade and lifted it up, remembrance filling his eyes. He frowned as if remembering something unpleasant, and his eyes scanned the room. Gríma Wormtongue cowered as Théoden’s eyes filled with rage. My mouth twisted into a smirk, Théoden’s rule of Rohan began once more.
Gríma Wormtongue toppled down the stairs as Théoden threateningly stalked after him. A group of villagers had gathered at the foot of the stairs, I could see Bláilith among them and I wondered what she was doing down in the village.
“Your leechcraft would have had me crawling on all fours, like a beast!” Théoden accused as he followed Wormtongue down the stairs, each step filled with anger.
“Send me not from your sight!” Gríma pleaded, his last attempt to save his skin after all of his lies and trickery had caught up with him. Théoden raised his sword to strike the man cowering before him down.
“No, my lord!” The kingly man who had come with the visitors cried, running forward to seize Théoden’s sword. “No, my lord. Let him go. Enough blood has been spilt on his account.”
Wormtongue’s eyes widened staring at the two, then narrowed as he rose, backing away slowly before turning and running away.
“Get out of my way!” He ordered shoving villagers including my sister, to the side. I glared at the retreating figure of Gríma Wormtongue.
“Hail, Théoden King!” The man shouted. The villagers at the bottom of the stairs knelt slowly, followed by Eowyn and the rest of us on top of the stone steps. Théoden scanned the crowds, his eyes searching for faces he knew. One was missing.
“Where is Théodred?” Théoden asked, his eyes scanning the crowds, “Where is my son?”
I glanced over at Eowyn to see if she knew the answer to his question and was discontented to see her eyes fill with unshed tears. Théodred wasn’t…
Théodred was dead.


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