“Were you even listening?!” Pippin demanded indignantly.
“Of course. You wanted my opinion on speaking to women.” Aragorn answered casually, and started walking down the corridor at a brisk pace. The hobbits followed him at a jog.
“How did you get Arwen to notice you?” Sam asked keenly.
Aragorn glanced at him and stopped. He thought for a moment, recalling his meeting with her. And of seeing her again. He thought about how to answer, then started slowly. “It’s a complicated story.” He said thoughtfully. “I fell for Arwen when I first laid eyes on her. … She didn’t feel the same for me at the time. I was too young I suppose. Barely reaching manhood, and early for my race. Twenty nine years passed, and I met Arwen again. I didn’t do much. Galadriel was the one who brought us together really. I had just returned from spying in Mordor, and I had a mind to return to my childhood home and rest. But I strayed onto the borders of Lothlórien and was permitted to enter by the Lady of the Wood. She had me change my clothes to those that she provided, and told me where to find Arwen.”
“Galadriel set you and Arwen up?!” Pippin asked, trying his best not to laugh.
“What happened then?” Sam asked with an indignant glance at Pippin.
“That’s all there is.” Aragorn replied.
“But how did that help?” Merry asked.
“Galadriel clothed me in silver and white, with a cloak of elven grey and a bright gem upon my brow.” Aragorn explained. “Like an Elven Lord.”
“Oh!” Chorused the hobbits.
If Aragorn had thought that answering their questions would shut them up, and gain him some peace from their argument, he was sadly mistaken. They now followed him debating on how clothing would make the difference. They’d argue their opinion and ask Aragorn his. Only Sam had noticed that Aragorn had mentioned his age, though only as a hint, and was in strong belief that his age had something to do with Arwen’s change of heart.
Aragorn just wanted an escape. BEFORE they started speaking of the Shire.
Aragorn spent most of the next few days questioning people with Faramir. Did anyone notice anything out of the ordinary? Had there been any strangers in the city? Does anyone have any idea where Ferny might be? Or who might have helped Ferny escape? But no one would come forward with any information. Instead, they took a worried look around, shook their head, and bustled off.
Legolas and Dînesgal also joined the hunt. But even the elves couldn’t find anything out. To nurse their pride, the two elves spent their time trying to think up various scenarios. Many of them were just pure comedy, to try and make Aragorn and Faramir relax a little. It usually worked. Legolas had suggested that an eagle flew him in. But Aragorn had suggested that it was more likely Ferny was dropped. The hobbits also tried to help. They spent their time strolling through the crowds scanning all faces.
Aragorn, running low on inspiration, decided to try the local pub. It had been in the local pub of Bree where Aragorn had met Ferny. And Aragorn couldn’t think of anywhere else to look. Aragorn entered The White Tree, (whose name was inspired by the city’s emblem), and a hush fell in the room. All faces turned to him. But one face in particular caught his attention.