A/N: I’m very sorry I haven’t bothered to write and that this took, like three months to get written. My muse, Thalia, has decided to attempt to abondon the story, or at least make my job at finishing it extremely hard. For some reason, she doesn’t like to fill the job description of ‘muse’. It’s sad that it has been a year that I have been working on this, partly because this is chapter seven…
Elizabeth awoke early the next day. She quickly got up and met Malwen at the table, where Malwen informed her that Renatirrael had left early. Elizabeth ached to know what he was up to. ‘Knowing him, it could be almost anything,’ she thought wryly.
They ate in companionable silence. When Elizabeth finished, she washed and put the plate away, then went to her room to find something appropriate to wear. Her wardrobe was filled with a wide array of tunics and dresses.
After a five minute debate, she finally decided on a sky blue tunic that brought out her blue eyes and cream-colored breeches. She brushed her long, blonde hair, then pulled it back into a ponytail.
She then made her bed and carefully placed her old ‘Of Luthien and Beren’ book on the pillow as a finishing touch.
Procratinating had always been one of her strong points back home, and she knew that she was putting that skill to good use at the moment. She was oddly reluctant at the moment to go and see the new guests. Partly, she thought, because the tale of the Ring frightened her, especially with one of Its inferior Rings so close. She supposed her fear was based on the fact that the One Ring had such a negative and powerful effect on people, and she was frightened of what she would do if it tempted her.
Sighing, she left the talon and went to see if Aragorn or any of the others needed assistance. At the very least, she decided, she could talk to them and see if she could learn anymore about them or their journey.
She entered the flet and saw that no one was there. But as she turned to leave, on of the Hobbits, Pippin, was standing in the doorway.
"Oh, hello," she said awkwardly.
"Hello. Not to be rude, but what are you doing here?" he asked.
"I, er, I wanted to see if any of you needed anything, but none of you were here. I was just about to leave," she explained.
"Do you knnow where there’s any food?" Pippin asked immediately, then added as an after-thought, "Please?"
Elizabeth held back a smile of amusement and gestured for Pippin to follow her. He moved out of the way of the door. Elizabeth noted he was taking extra care not to look down as they began to descend down the ladder.
"Did you miss breakfast?" asked Elizabeth curiously once they were on the ground.
"First or second?" returned Pippin.
"You eat two breakfasts?" Elizabeth hated answering questions with questions but the little Hobbit’s interesting ways made her curious.
"Aye. We Hobbits eat about seven meals in a day, plus a snack or two," he said.
"Seven! No one ever ate that much where I come from," said Elizabeth weakly. She had had no idea that people could eat so much in one day and not burst, especially someone not even half her height.
It took her a minute to calculate from where they should approach Renatirrael’s "sercet food hideaway."
"Now, don’t go telling you friends about this," she warned. "This is my frien’s and he gave me permission to use it. I don’t want you coming back here to pilfur food from his secret stash."
Pippin’s eyes shone with mischief. "Of course. And, er, could I come back t’morrow to get some more."
Elizabeth fixed him with a mock stern look. She was really reminding herself of her mother. One more than one occation, she and her brother had gotten "a talkin’ to" like the one she just gave Pippin.
He sighed disappointedly. "Oh, alright."
She smiled and began to search the nooks and crannies of trees.
In a few minutes, she managed to collect a half loaf of bread, some apples, and some fruits that looked like an orange but tasted more like a pear, and a couple of canteens filled with river water. In the same vicinity she found four wooden mugs and four plates, but only grabbed two of each.
She placed them on a large tree root shaped like a kind of table and Pippin eagerly wolfed down his portion. Elizabeth nibbled at a dried apple.
"Thanks!" said Pippin finally, over a mouthfull of the strange fruit.
"You’re welcome," answered Elizabeth with a polite smile. Then she asked something that had been on her min for a while. "Um…I know what you brought here, but I don’t understand *why* you brought it here."
Instantly, Pippin’s demeanor changed from cheerful to solemn. He chewed thoughtfully for a moment and said, "Strider said that that was the route Gan….Gandalf wanted to follow."
Elizabeth saw that the subject was still really raw, so she tactfully changed the subject. "So…where do you come from?"
Pippin perked up a little bit. "My home is th’ Shire." He looked down at his plate, seemingly unwilling to let go of his uncharacteristically dismal mood.
She pressed harder. "Can you tell me about it?"
He looked up again. "If it’s alright, m’lady, could you tell me of your homeland, seein’ as you’re obviously not from dear Lorien? I’ve just gotten myself feelin’ sad."
"Well, I come from a place far west of here called America. I live on the northwestern half. Some of it is flat and desert-like, but most of it is mountainous. I live on…*lived* on the desert-like area with my family. So, you see, I’m far from my home, too," said Elizabeth sympathetically.
Pippin nodded and looked back down at his plate. "If it’s alright with you," he began hesitantly, "could we go back now?"
Elizabeth felt a little hurt, but realized that it was probably nothing personal against her, he was just feeling bad about his loss.
They walked back (by a different route) and after Elizabeth dropped Pippin off (no one else was there yet) she went back to Malwen’s flet. Renatirrael still wasn’t back.
It had been two weeks and Elizabeth had still hardly seen anything of Renatirrael. When she did, it was late and he was really tired and not in the mood to talk.
On this particaular day, she was lying on her bed, trying to read her book but will little success. She sighed; curiosity had its hold onher and refused to relinquish it.
Tonight, she would catch him and figure out what he had been doing. Easier said than done. The last time she had stayed up to wait, he had eluded her by finding another way up. Elizabeth had no idea how that was possible, unless of course, he had climbed the tree itself.
After a few more failed attempts to get interested in the book, Elizabeth knew it was futile and decided to go for a walk outside.
To her dismay, Atauri was waiting.
The she-elf smirked, which didn’t suit her features at all. "Enjoying the company of your fellow mortals." She spat the word "mortals" like it was the most vile thing she had ever heard of. Then again, maybe in her family, the word was considered the most vile thing that could be heard.
To be honest though, Elizabeth had adapted to life in Lorien. She wasn’t sure if she would be able to return home. This had become her home, depite the fact that people like Atauri constantly harassed her. "No, not as much as you would like to think," she retorted.
"Indeed?" said Atauri in mock sincerity. "Why *do* you remain here? There are more places outside of the forest full of mortals that would gladly acept a little girl like you."
Elizabeth didn’t have a good retort do she began to walk away from the battle. "You *will* be gone from this forest yet!" Atauri threateningly called after her.
The girl ignored her and walked on down the path.
She didn’t know how long she was gone, but it was beginning to get dark and her stomach was protesting loudly. With any luck, Renatirrael was still away and she would have a chance to catch him.
This time though, she would wait just outside the door to Malwen’s talon so he would not see her waiting at the bottom.
She went to do so and fortunately didn’t have to wait long before she saw the raven-haired head emerge. When he notied her his eyes widened. "Elizabeth!" he said, startled and breathlessly.
"I haven’t seen you around muh lately," she said cooly.
His face switched from shocked to indignant. "Elizabeth, I’m tired; I’ve been working hard. If that was all you wanted to say to me, then excuse me." He tired to walk into the talon but she grabbed his wrist and pulled him back.
"What have you been doing?" she demanded to know.
His eyes narrowed. "Nothing. You shall see when it is complete."
"Then it doesn’t sound like ‘nothing’ to me," she retorted.
"Elizabeth," he said in a tone that implied he was speaking to a child, "stop this nonsense and let me eat so I can sleep."
"Only so you can wake up early and go where?"
"I have already told you–"
His eyes narrowed further until they were just slits. "You really wish to know?" he asked in a dangerously quiet voice.
Elizabeth held firm, undaunted. "Yes."
"I had the talon that you had when you first arrived here reserved. I was using your drawing as a guide to made it as close to your old home as possible. Now if you’ll excuse me…." His tone had turned angry but still remained quiet. This was worse than if he had yelled at her. She could tell he was really angry with her; his quiet tone implied that much.
He nimbly jumped around her and stalked rigidly into the talon, leaving Elizabeth standing there in the deepening dusk.