“Aragorn,” Kaari squealed, as she ran toward the disgruntled Ranger. A smile quickly lit up his face.
“It’s good to see you again Kaari,” he said as he picked up the child. As he did so he realized that she was no longer a child. She was growing to be a beautiful lady as her foster mother had raised her. But she was not there yet.
“Lord Aragorn,” he heard another familiar voice say. He put Kaari down and turned around to see Kaari’s foster mother.
“Hello, Lady Arwen,” he said with a bow.
“I fear that you bring ill tidings with this visit,” Arwen said sullenly. Kaari walked over to the elven lady.
“What do you mean mother?” She asked. She knew that Arwen was not her mother, but that is what she had called her since Aragorn had brought her to Rivendell, fifteen years ago.
“This is a subject that is beyond you, Kaari. Why don’t you go inside and wait in your room? I promise I’ll send Aragorn up there when I am done with him,” Arwen said with a smile. Kaari stood up on the tip of her toes and kissed the elven lady on the cheek.
“Yes, mother.” She ran back into the palace, holding her skirt up so that she would not trip.
“Mother? I see that not much has changed,” Aragorn said with a smile, watching Kaari run into the palace.
“Actually, Aragorn, her calling me mother is the only thing that hasn’t changed,” Arwen told him. “She isn’t the little girl that she was when last you saw her. She’s grown up.”
“Yes, she has. I wish that she was an elf so that she would remain a child for as long as I lived. She’s like a daughter to me, I am just sad that I don’t get to see her that often,” Aragorn said.
“How are the hobbits?” Lady Arwen asked, changing the subject.
“They are doing well. Your father’s healing helped Frodo very much. He is as good as new.”
“That is good. You must be sure to thank him, Estel.” Arwen paused and looked at the ground. She then looked up at Aragorn. “There is something I need to ask of you-.”
The elven lady would have continued had a guard not come at that moment.
“Lord Estel, your presence is needed at the Council, sir.”
“Yes. I will talk to you latter, milady,” Aragorn said.
Aragorn followed the guard up the stairs and into the indoor/outdoor room where the Council was to take place.
Kaari sat in her room, day-dreaming. She wondered about what was going on. There had been many people coming. People of many different races. She swore that she had seen four men who were the height of children! She heard someone knock on her door.
“Come in,” she called.
She had expected to see Aragorn walk in, instead she saw Arwen.
“Where is Aragorn?”
“He’s talking to my father,” Arwen answered as she sat down on the bed, next to Kaari. Kaari’s hair had been tossed by the run up to her room. Arwen noticed this and grabbed a brush off the table next to the bed and began brushing her foster child’s hair.
“Mother. Why are so many people coming to Rivendell? I saw a dwarf enter and then I also saw four small men. Who are they?”
“The dwarf’s name is Gimli. He is the lord of the halls of Moria. And the four small men are hobbits. They came here with Aragorn,” Arwen explained.
“Hobbits! I didn’t know that they existed! I thought that they were just lore.”
“No. They are very real. Perhaps you will meet them later.”
“Mother, why did Aragorn seem so sad?”
Arwen stopped brushing Kaari’s hair.
“I will tell you later, child,” she answered.
“It’s been so long since Aragorn was here. I was ten the last time I saw him,” Kaari said. “Why can’t he ever stay longer?”
“Kaari, you know good and well why Aragorn cannot stay. He is a Ranger and protects the humans. He can’t be here all the time. He comes when he can,” Arwen said. Even though her words were sharp, she agreed with the child. Half an hour later Arwen left Kaari’s room to go find her father.
“Father,” she said as she approached the elven lord.
“Aragorn’s leaving again,” he said without looking at his daughter.
“I knew he would. That is why I have come to talk with you. I want Kaari to go with the Fellowship.”
“What?! You want a child to go to Mordor?! That is out of the question. I will not let Kaari go,” Lord Elrond yelled.
“Kaari is my responsibility father. If I want her to go, you can’t stop her,” Arwen countered.
“Then ask the Fellowship. If they allow her, than I shall let her go. But only if they agree. And I doubt that Aragorn will let her.”
With that, Arwen went out in search of the members of the Fellowship. She found them in the armory.
“Aragorn, Gimli, Legolas, I need to talk to all of you. The hobbits as well. Where is Boromir?” She asked, seeing only one human in the room.
“Here I am,” he said, entering the room with Gandalf.
“What is it you want, milady?” Legolas asked, setting down his arrows.
“Aragorn, I want Kaari to go with you,” Arwen said bravely.
“What?” Aragorn asked.
“Who is Kaari?” All other’s asked besides Gandalf.
“She’s a little girl that I found in the Wild,” Aragorn answered.
“She is not a little girl! She is almost a woman, yet she has not been outside the borders of Rivendell,” Arwen told Aragorn.
“This is not the time for her to go out exploring,” Aragorn countered.
“But she must go! I have talked with Galadriel about this. She agrees that Kaari must go!”
That won the fight. Now, all of the Fellowship agreed with her. Just not Aragorn.
“Aragorn, please. Let her go! She always says that she wishes she could travel with you,” Arwen pleaded.
“This is not just another one of my travels,” Aragorn said.
“Aragorn,” Gandalf interrupted. “I believe that Lady Arwen is right. Kaari should go.”
Aragorn hung his head in defeat. He could not argue with Arwen, Galadriel and Gandalf.
“Fine. Then let her come,” he said before leaving the room.
Two days later, Kaari was once again sitting in her room, thinking. But a few things were different this time. Instead of wearing one of her long white gowns, she was dressed in the style of an elvish man. Her usually loose, flowing hair was braided back. She felt odd in such clothing, and was nervous about the journey. She jumped when she heard a knock on her door.
“Kaari, it’s time to go,” she heard a voice say. It was unfamiliar to her, so she turned around. It was Prince Legolas. She had seen him the night before, but hadn’t had a chance to talk to him. She stood up and picked up her small bag and slung it over her shoulder. She followed Legolas out of her room.
While Legolas and Kaari walked through the hallways to where they were to meet the others, Arwen and Aragorn were having a discussion of there own.
“Now, remember. This is a very important time in her life, and she can be very easily influenced. Don’t treat her too much like a child, though, or she’ll really start acting like one. Also, I’m a little nervous about Legolas…,” Arwen said as she help Aragorn with his stuff.
“Why? There will be eight other men there, why Legolas?”
“Well, I’m not worried about the hobbits, and I am not worried about Gimli or Boromir, they’re much too old-.”
Aragorn interrupted her.
“I’m sure Boromir would appreciate you saying that. He’s younger than me.”
“I meant he’s much too old to be interested in a fifteen year old girl,” she said, giving him a sideways glare.
“But still, why Legola-. Oh! I see. He isn’t too old. You’re worried about him being interested in Kaari. Well, don’t worry. He is a good friend of mine and a gentleman. You’ve known him longer than I, why so paranoid?”
“When you are a parent, Aragorn, you will understand. It’s my job as her mother to worry. Goodness knows, she doesn’t,” Arwen added with an exasperated sigh. “Aragorn, please, take care of her.”
Aragorn leaned over and kissed Arwen’s lips.
“I will, my love.”