She was on her back, and something was glaring in her eyes. Don’t tell me I overslept, she thought. Firith is going to laugh me to death for not following my own orders. Novarwen tried to roll onto her stomach. Immediately her eyes flew opened and, much to her disgrace, she whimpered with the agonizing pain in her legs.
A face loomed over her. “Novarwen?” She knew that voice. She forced her eyes to focus. Her stomach roiled, and she fought down the nausea. “Legolas?” she asked.
The face let out a huge sigh of relief. “She knows me!” said someone who was definitely Legolas. Then her brother bent over her again. “Novarwen, yes, it’s me. No, don’t try to get up,” he continued, gently pressing her down by the shoulder as she tried to sit up, “you’ve been unconscious for three days now.”
“Three…three days?” Novarwen croaked. I sound terrible, she thought. Then she remembered. Theryn had come back, and they had ambushed the spiders who were going to attack Legolas, who was on his way to Rivendell, except he didn’t know she was there…With a gasp, Novarwen lifted her head, the most she could do under the circumstances. “You know I’m here!” she managed to say.
Legolas smiled grimly. “I do now. Novarwen, if you had just stayed home, you would be safe! You wouldn’t even have this wound…”
“And have gotten many more from Firith,” she finished.
“That’s beside the point!”
“That’s exactly the point!” Novarwen retorted. “Bodies heal. Pride doesn’t.”
Legolas sat back in resignation. “That’s more like the Novarwen I knew,” commented a voice just as familiar as her brother’s.
“Theryn? That’s you, isn’t it?” Novarwen held a hand over her eyes to try to block out the glare of the sun. “Curse this light! I can’t see a thing.”
Theryn laughed. “You don’t have to worry, Legolas. She’s entirely herself again.”
Novarwen scowled. “How would you know? I’ve changed in four hundred years.”
“Not much,” he replied, laughter still in his voice.
“Enough of this lover’s quarrel,” Legolas cut in. “Novarwen, as always, I don’t know what to do with you! I can’t very well send you back to Mirkwood wounded like this, but I can’t take you with us to Rivendell. We’re not even at the mountains yet.”
“If you try to send me back to Mirkwood,” Novarwen threatened, propping her head up with her arms, “I will complain all the way there, scowl when we get there, and follow you right back out anyway, so you might as well save yourself the trouble and take me along.” This elicited a burst of laughter from various voices, which she assumed belonged to the Arfaroth, the Outriders Theryn had left Thranduil’s city to command. Novarwen grinned. “See, even they support me.”
Legolas groaned. “I am betrayed by my own kind, my own family even!” He grinned too, albeit resignedly. “All right, Novarwen, you can come with me.”
She whooped with joy and tried to stand. “No! Lie down!” Legolas commanded, and Novarwen, who had forgotten the pain in her legs, was all too happy to obey.