“Good! Very good!” Boromir said.
“Move your feet,” Aragorn commented.
“Very good, Pippin,” Merry added as he joined his friend.
Kaari sat there and watched as Boromir attempted to teach the hobbits how to fight. She hoped that soon, Aragorn would be teaching her. She heard the dwarf say something about going to Moria, but tuned it out. She was watching Legolas. He was staring into the sky, his face stern. She wondered what could make him look so, he had seemed somewhat light-hearted. Elves were constantly like that. Kaari’s thoughts were interrupted as she heard Boromir apologize.
“Get him!” Merry and Pippin cried. They knocked him down and jumped on top of him.
“For the Shire,” Merry yelled.
“Hold. Hold him down, Merry,” Pippin instructed.
Aragorn let out an amused chuckle.
Everyone’s merriment was forgotten as Sam noticed something moving towards them.
“What’s that?” He asked no one in particular.
“Oh, nothing. Just a whisp of cloud,” Gimli assured.
“It’s moving fast,” Boromir said as he and Aragorn stood up. “Against the wind.”
“Crebain from Dunland!” Legolas’s elvish voice was heard shouting.
“Hide,” Aragorn instructed.
Everyone rushed around to put out the fires and clear all of their belongings. Kaari stood there in shock. She didn’t know what crebain were. She also was worried about what could make everyone act in such a way.
Aragorn and Frodo dove under the rock that Kaari was standing next to. Aragorn saw her just standing there and grabbed her by the back of her shirt. He pulled her down and covered her and the hobbit up with his body. Kaari resisted the urge to scream as a swarm of black birds flew in circles around their hiding places.
Everyone slowly came out as the black demons flew away.
“Spies of Saruman,” Gandalf told the others.
This confused Kaari even more. Wasn’t Saruman on their side? She really needed someone to explain all of what was going on! Her thoughts were once again interrupted. Aragorn stood up, still holding the back of her shirt. He pushed her over to where Legolas was standing.
“Legolas, you have sharp eyes, yes?”
“Yes,” Legolas answered hesitantly. He didn’t like the look in his friends eyes. Plus, Kaari looked like she was in trouble and he didn’t want to get caught in the middle of it.
“Good. See if you can keep an eye on Kaari,” Aragorn said as he pushed the girl in Legolas’s direction.
“Yes, Aragorn,” Legolas replied. He looked down at the young girl and thought grimly, `Great, know I get to play baby-sitter.’
“We must take the pass of Caradhras,” Gandalf said as he turned to look at the monstrous mountain. Kaari followed Gandalf’s gaze and then let out an exasperated sigh. She hated the snow!
“Come on, Kaari,” Legolas said as the others started walking toward Caradhras. He reached down to grab her hand, and she pulled it away.
“I am not a child! I do not need you holding my hand. I am perfectly capable of walking on my own!” With that Kaari started walking after the others. Legolas shook his head. This journey was going to be more fun than he had thought.
Up on Caradhras, the four hobbits followed Gandalf. The wizard was digging away at the snow with his staff. Frodo looked up as Legolas walked pass. The elf walked as easily on the snow as if he was walking on solid ground.
Kaari walked behind Frodo and in front of Aragorn. She saw Legolas walk past. She glared at him and whispered something in elvish. Aragorn heard her, despite the howling wind, and smacked her in the back of her head. Legolas turned around. `Kaari has a fiery spirit, for a child. Much like the Eavenstar.’
“Be nice Kaari,” Aragorn warned. Arwen had been right. Being a parent was difficult. It in no way compared with being a Ranger.
Legolas walked to the end of the ledge and starred into the snow filled sky. He concentrated.
“There is a fowl voice on the air,” he cried to Gandalf.
“It’s Saruman! He’s trying to bring down the mountain,” Aragorn concluded.
Gandalf tried to keep the mountain standing, but failed. Tons of snow and rock fell on the fellowship. Legolas was the first to pop up, he then helped pull out the others.
“We must get off the mountain,” Boromir yelled. “Make for the Gap of Rohan, and take the west road to my city!”
“The Gap of Rohan will take us too close to Isengard,” Aragorn countered.
“If we cannot pass over the mountain, let us go under it. Let us go through the Mines of Moria,” Gimli urged. That was where he was from. He was tired of snow and longed for the rocks of his home.
Gandalf pondered his suggestion. He did not want to go through Moria. He had told Gimli this before. But it seemed that there were few choices.
“Let the Ring-bearer decide,” Gandalf said, reluctantly.
All eyes turned to Frodo.
“We will go through the mines,” he said after a few moments of thought.
“So be it.”
The Fellowship then proceeded to walking back down the mountain. As they reached the walls of Moria, Kaari couldn’t help but reach for the nearest hand. She had never seen such walls, but had heard of what the walls concealed. Utter darkness. Much to Kaari’s despair, the hand that she had reached for was Legolas’s. He looked down at her with a smile. He gave her hand a slight, encouraging squeeze. She seemed so frightened.
Aragorn saw this and inwardly smiled. The whole parenting thing might be easier if Kaari had an `uncle’ with her as well. Perhaps the rest of the fellowship would warm up to her as well.