Chapter Two: Never loose Faith
“You spoke of Gandalf. How is he?” asked Artholien.
“He’s fine,” answered Aragorn, “You need not worry about him.” At that moment, Gandalf was riding up on a magnificent stallion, Shadowfax; followed by the two horses that had ran away from Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimli the night before.
“Artholien! What are you doing so far from Rivendell?” asked Gandalf. Aragorn explained that she would be staying with them until they reached Edoras, where Haldir would collect her after finding Rain. “So Rain took off again, did she; when will that sister of yours ever learn to stay put!” he paused then continued, “At any rate I’m glad to see you again, child, it will be a pleasure having you with us. At least you behave yourself unlike Rain. Now then, Gimli, you can ride with me and Artholien can ride with Legolas.” As Aragorn helped Gimli on Shadowfax, Legolas held out his hand to her, she took it and allowed him to host her upon Arod, then he jumped on behind her. They smiled and set off for Rohan.
Hawkwing slowed, unable to run any further. The forest was filled with silence. In the darkness of the shadows the Nazgul lurked. Rain began to feel a piercing chill over her. Hawkwing reared, forcing Rain to leap down. The leader Nazgul seized Rain.
“Let go of me you evil servant!” They paid no head to her. “Haldir! Haldir…” A different Nazgul gagged her, then, with Rain, they vanished into the shadows
Haldir had heard Rains cries and began to nudge his horse faster when it too was unable to go on, without thinking, he sprang down and began to run as fast as he could toward Rains cries. He was able to run for about ten minutes, but ran out of breath and plunged to the ground.
“Rain….” he gasped to catch his breath. He whispered a silent prayer to the Valar for her safety. Millions of things were running through his mind. He remembered the first time he had meet Rain. The first time he had made her smile`…wait…’ he thought, `why am I remembering all this? Could that stupid dwarf be right? Am I in love with Rain?’
Artholien sensed something was wrong.
“My-lady, you’re so quiet. Is something the matter?” asked Legolas.
“I think something’s happened to Rain, but I could be wrong.”
“Haldir will find her. Don’t worry.” Aragorn patted Artholien on the shoulder, “Let us stop for a while and rest. I wish to talk to you.”
They dismounted and settled themselves on the grass, Artholien and Aragorn set apart from the rest, “What is it that you wanted to speak to me about?”
“Arwen, how is she?” he asked softly. Artholien had always felt comfort in his voice (she had often fallen to sleep listening to him and Arwen speaking to one another).
“She misses you. She rarely talks of anything else.” she said to him quietly, “She would cry herself to sleep at night, praying for your safety.”
“Your remind me of her. Your hair color may be different, but you resemble her. You speak with the same gentleness in your voice as she does. You both have that never ending spark of hope in your eyes. When I see you I see her. You bring the hope I lost back.” Aragorn’s eyes glistened.
“You will see each other again.”
“How do you know? You haven’t been looking in Lady Galadriel’s mirror have you?” he teased.
“I know because of this.” Artholien touched the Evenstar that hung from Aragorn’s neck, “Don’t loose faith, my-lord.”
Gandalf called from the distance, “We best be going!”
Aragorn pulled Artholien from the ground and they returned to the group and continued on for Edoras.