“Aragorn, where are we?” Legolas called across the calm waters of a rather large lake. Aragorn turned to look at his friend and saw that the Argonath were not where they were supposed to be. In fact, they were not there at all.
He looked all around. The banks of what was supposed to be the Anduin were grassy. Groves of trees spotted the horizon near a large building. A gazebo, rather like those found in Rivendell, stood sedate and serene next to a small dock.
“Row toward the dock. Then we’ll get out and investigate.” The hobbits were silent. They looked around with wide eyes, but Frodo had a look of peace about him. The little hobbit looked back at Aragorn who was feverishly rowing toward shore and smiled.
“Don’t worry Aragorn. I think we’re meant to be here. I haven’t felt like this since I left Rivendell. Someone called us here. I’m sure of it.” Merry overheard this bit of information.
“I suppose it’s like Bilbo’s old saying. You remember, the one he always said before going on a walk.”
“Of course he remembers, Merry.” Sam cut in. “He lived with Bilbo.”
“It’s a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and, if you don’t keep your feet, there’s no knowing where you’ll be swept off to.” Merry ignored Sam and finished his thought.
“Maybe Frodo could change that a bit. We’re not exactly on the road. It should: It’s a dangerous business, Frodo, rowing down the Anduin. You get stuck in a current, and, if you row between statues, there’s no knowing where you’ll be swept off to.” Pippin laughed so hard at his own joke he almost fell out of the boat. Boromir righted the hobbit and kept rowing.
When all three boats had reached the dock. They secured the boats with pieces of rope Sam had scupulously collected at Rivendell, but he wouldn’t allow them near the hithlain rope the Lady Galadriel had given him in Lothlorien.
Tara glanced out her bedroom window. The sun glinted off her family’s private lake and tossed the reflections onto her bedroom wall. Her father had bought this house the year he had become a big executive with his company. It had been extravagant then; it still was.
As she looked out at the lake again, she saw a flash. She dropped her T-shirt and stared. Three boats had appeared, out of nowhere, in the middle of the lake. The occupants sat stunned for a few seconds. They then had a short discussion and began rowing toward the small dock.
“I really hope the dogs aren’t out. They’d get torn to pieces.” Even though she didn’t know who they were, she did know they weren’t on her family’s estate on purpose. She pulled on her shirt and ran down the stairs and out the back door. She didn’t hear any barking, but she still had to find out who these people were.
“Look,” muttered Gimli pointing. “Someone’s coming. Maybe they can explain what’s going on.”
The Fellowship turned and watched a tall girl of about 17 rush down the hill, from what they now supposed to be a house, toward them. She stopped and stared at them in disbelief. Pippin began laughing at her funny clothes. She was wearing a very short pair of pants (they didn’t even reach her knees) and a baggy, black shirt that read “Lord of the Lanes.” Sam kicked Pippin in the shin.
Aragorn in a show of friendliness held up his hands and said, “We come in peace.” To his dismay, the young stranger fell over in a faint.