“What about the bowls and platter, we left them there,” noted Boromir as they settled into wherever they would sleep.
“I’ll get them tomorrow, besides when your servants in a small manor and with a lord like ours to boot? You stick together and share with everyone,” Kalem replied as she spread a quilt on the trundle. This had been employed as a bed for the four hobbits, two at each end. Dina and Kalem got the big bed, while everyone else got spare matresses and blankets from the attic. The taller people implored her not to trouble herself, but Kalem was adament. Besides, the matresses hadn’t been touched since Kalem had taken them out of the almost-never used third floor guest rooms two years ago. (This she had done to keep them from rotting from rare use.)
Dina woke up a little as Kalem tucked her in,”Tell me a story, Kali, tell me one,” she implored.
“Tell me…” Dina thought for a minute,”tell me the story of Isildur’s Heir, I tried to tell Strider of it, but I do not think he understood very well.”
“Alright,” Kalem agreed,”Isildur was the High King of Gondor. His father, Elendil had been slain the Dark Lord during the?” Kalem always let Dina fill in some parts of the story.
“The Last Alliance of Men and Elves, where they fought on the very slopes of Mt. Doom, Or..Orodrim.” Dina stumbled a bit over the elvish, but seemed to know what she was talking about.
Kalem took over, “Correct. And as soon as Elendil was slain, Isildur run up to him and took up his great sword, Narsil. But Sauron broke it.” At this, Dina gasped, for to break something was the unpardonable crime, and she did not know what “shattered” meant. BUt Kalem went on,”He prepared to slay Isildur as well, but as he raised his hadn, Isildur raised his and cut the oNe RIng off. This Ring gave him his power, but that is another story.”
Kalem went on to explain that Isildur took the One Ring, but was killed in the Gladden Fields, along with his three elder sons. The Kingship of Gondor passed down through the years to Earnur.
“Earnur rode to Minas Murgul to renew the challenge of the Witch King, but he was lost and so started the reign of the Stewards. For the people of Gondor, and us in Eiador as well, are waiting for Isildur’s Heir to come and reclaim the throne. Oh, yes Dina, we will have a king, Dina. I feel it, we will have a King and soon.”
Dina nodded and closed her eyes. Kalem looked up and saw that Strider was looking at her strangly,”Sorry,” she said, thinking that she had alarmed him, “But, I, I, I just have this feeling that it will happen, if you follow me.”
Strider nodded, “I do. So, what is your story, and Dina’s?”
“Dina’s parents died three years ago, when she was one. Her father died in an orc raid. Yes, we have those, “Kalem nodded at the look of amazement on Strider’s face, “they come from the Misty Mountians and attack, foul creatures. Dina’s mother died six months later, from a fever. She had nowhere to go, so I took her in. Though she is more of a hindrance than a help, she’s learning fast. And of course, the sooner Alanel’s out of here, the better.”
“And what of you?”Legolas asked, making Kalem jump. She had though he was asleep. She had heard elves were quiet, but she hadn’t known they were that quiet.
Kalem sighed, this was going to sound strange, “Well, I don’t really remember much. I was found wandering around the manor when I was six years old,half starved and with a nasty gash on my forehead,” she pointed to the long scar that went from the center of her forehead to her ear,”I was taken in, haeled and fed. The Lord was going to put me in the fields, but then he found out that I could cook. So, here I am.”
“An intereting story, to sat the least,” Legolas replied, “And you do not remember what happened to you?”
“No,not really, not of how I got here. I remembered some things, like how to cook and read Sindarin. I remembered my name adn age. If I strech my memory back as far as possible, I can remember that I had parents and two brothers, though I know nothing about them. I almost remember a cottage in a village, but with no lord. It is strange.”
As the elf and man took that in, Dina stirred and woke up a bit,”Tell me another, Kali.”
“Tell me about the Lady of Rivendell, Arwen Undomiel.”
Strider sat up a bit, Kalem glanced at him and turned to the four year old beside her, “But, you haev heard of her a hundred times.”
“Then tell me of her a hundred and one times.”
“Alright, alright. There is an elven maid, of beauty greater then Luthien Tinuviel herself, some say. This maid lives in Rivendell, Imladris is its Elven name. Her father, Elrond Half-Elven, built it in the second age as a haven for the elves agianst Sauron.
“She has great powers and the only thing that surpasses her beauty is her goodness. Who is she?”
“Arwen Undomiel, Evenstar of her people.”Dina replied,”Wouldn’t it be splendid Kali, if, if,”here a huge yawn nearly dislocated the child’s jaw, “if Lady Arwen were to marry the new King?”
Kalem grinned and looked up to see Strider’s reaction to this. He was looking off into some distant, happy memory and smiling,” Yes, Dina, it would be splendid, and maybe we could go and cook for them, hmmm?” But Dina was already asleep.
“You might at that,” Srider said, coming out of his memory and into the present,”And I wouldn’t be surprised if the King did marry the Undomiel.”
Kalem looked at him oddly for a moment, yes, there was more to him than met the eye. He seemed well, sort of, not you average human, even for a Ranger. Kalem shook her head briskly. She was being silly, “Well, good night, then,” she paused and mouthed silently, “Is he asleep?” She pointed to Legolas, who was laying down, hands clasped behind his head, staring into nothingness.
Strider looked at him, and nodded.
Kalem shrugged and said, “Good Night.”
But Kalem was not awake to hear the Ranger.
(Author’s Note: There will be an Epiloge, soon!)