Silvren slowly walked down the front steps of her father’s house and made her way to the courtyard, taking in her surroundings one last time as she walked. As she approached the stone gate they were to meet in front of, she noticed several of the companions already there. All of the hobbits except for Frodo were already there and crowded around Bill the pony. Gandalf, Gimli and Boromir were also waiting in front of the gate. Silvren decided it would be best to stand next to her brothers and several other elves who had gathered near a tree to watch the company off.
Míriel and Anariel were among those elves but none of them said anything to Silvren and she said nothing to them. Seconds later, Silvren felt a gentle hand fall upon her shoulder and turned to see Legolas standing behind with a look of sorrow residing on his face.
“Silvren, I only want what’s best for you. May we meet again, before the elves leave these shores.” Legolas whispered softly as he held back the urge to take her in his arms and hold her close. “Im melin le.” he breathed and gently kissed her on the lips.
“Please be careful, Legolas.” Silvren whispered, her eyes not meeting his. “I love you too.” she said and the kissed him on the lips.
“Namárië.” Legolas said and slowly began walking towards the stone gate.
“Namárië.” Silvren whispered and watched as he slowly walked away and he finally turned his gaze away from her.
“You never understand how much loves hurts until you finally learn what it is to love.” Silvren heard someone say from beside her and turned to see Arwen standing next to her. She had tears in her eyes and a distant gaze to hers as well. Silvren nodded her head in reply and turned her eyes back to Legolas who was gazing at her with hollow eyes.
Everyone turned around at the quiet sound of someone approaching and they saw many elves scattered here and there that had come to see the Fellowship off. They also saw the source of the approaching footsteps and saw Elrond walking towards them with Aragorn and Frodo at his sides.
Frodo walked over to the other hobbits and Aragorn took his place beside Gandalf.
“Your duty Aragorn, son of Arathorn is to the Ringbearer.” Elrond said gravely, gazing at the young ranger. “The Ringbearer is setting out on the quest for Mount Doom. On you who travel with him, no oath nor bond is laid to go further than you wish. On him alone is any charge laid: neither to cast away the Ring, nor to deliver it into the hands of the enemy, nor let anyone handle it save the members of the Fellowship and only then if the need is great. Farewell and may the blessings of Elves, Men, and all Free Folk go with you.” Elrond said pressing his right hand against his chest and extending it outward in an elven-salute.
Silvren watched as Aragorn and Legolas returned the elven salute and then all attention fell upon the small hobbit.
“The Fellowship awaits the Ringbearer.” Gandalf said as Frodo took one last look at the peaceful city.
Frodo’s eyes reflected his nervousness and sorrow as he slowly turned around and began walking past Gandalf and Aragorn through the high, stone gates of Rivendell.
“Mordor, Gandalf, left or right?” Frodo whispered as he approached the split path that lay just outside the stone gate.
“Left.” Gandalf answered, gently resting his old wrinkled hand on the hobbit’s small shoulder.
Silvren glanced back at Legolas and watched as he hesitated and turned once more to face her. She couldn’t hold her tears back any longer as she watched him turn away and walk through the gate. Silvren turned and ran past her brothers back to the refuge of her room. Anariel and Míriel started after her but Elladan held them back, he knew she would want to be alone for a while.
Glorfindel and Elrond turned to see Silvren run away from the group of elves and then turned back around.
“I want you to keep a close eye on her. She will probably try to go after them.” Elrond whispered to Glorfindel who nodded in reply.
When Silvren reached her room, she closed her door and cast herself upon her bed. There she remained for the rest of the evening and all the next morning. For the next three days, Silvren did not eat nor talk to anybody, she was too busy planning her escape and Arwen was in on it for she was sewing Silvren a new travel outfit.
“Silvren, what are you doing?’ Glorfindel asked her one night when he caught her taking food that was mainly eaten while traveling back to her room.
“Eating.” she replied innocently and took a small bite out of the elven biscuit.
“That biscuit is meant for those traveling.” Glorfindel said as he stepped closer to her. They stood in the dimly lit hall that led to her room and no one else was around. “You’re not going to try and follow them are you?” he asked suspiciously.
“If I was would I tell you?” she smirked.
“Silvren, you know your father is concerned about you.” Glorfindel said as she began to walk away.
“Look, I’ve always eaten these as a midnight snack when I hadn’t eaten for a while. Don’t worry; I’m not going anywhere but to my room.” Silvren smiled her innocent little smile that melted his heart and then walked back to her room.
It was in the middle of the night when Silvren heard a faint knocking at her door and quietly crossed her room to see who it was. Arwen stood outside her door with a small bundle in her arms.
“Hurry.” Silvren muttered and ushered her sister into her room. “Did anybody see you?”
“No, why?” Arwen asked as she handed Silvren the bundle.
“Because Glorfindel has been constantly watching me and I think he’s on to me.” Silvren replied hurriedly as she unwrapped the bundle to find her new traveling outfit and several biscuits for the journey. “Ar, you’re the best.” Silvren smiled as she held up the outfit and gazed at the beautiful green suede doublet and dark leggings.
“I hope, come, we must hurry.” Arwen said and hurried over to Silvren’s wardrobe to fetch her weapons.
Silvren dressed herself in the light blue, satin tunic and leggings the shade of greenish grey while Arwen packed the rest of her belongings for her. She pulled on her dark green and brown doublet that was created in the fashion of Legolas’ and pulled on her soft twilight grey boots that almost reached her knees. Silvren then pulled out her long steel knife that her grandmother had given her many years before and slipped the sheathed knife into her right boot. She then picked up a pair of silver scissors that were laying on top of her dresser and grasped it in her right hand as she pulled the leather hair band from her hair with her left hand, letting her long hair tumble down her back to below her waist.
“Let me do that for you.” Arwen’s gentle voice said as she slowly walked over to her younger sister. With the scissors in hand, she began to cut Silvren’s long hair to just below her shoulders. Silvren hated the thought of losing her beautiful hair but knew it was for the better and that it would eventually grow back. Long brown tresses fell to the floor around her as Arwen continued snipping her hair. When she had finished, she set the scissors back onto the dresser and brushed out Silvren’s newly cut hair.
“There.” Arwen sighed as Silvren began to sweep up the mess of her hair. “I’ll do that, you finish getting ready. Then she twisted the front portion of her hair back behind her head where they met and secured it with her leather hair band, several lose strands of hair hanging down the sides of her face. The small bunch of twisted back hair hung down the back of her neck, resting against the remainder of her hair that had been left down and hung just below her shoulders.
“Let me help you.” Arwen whispered to Silvren when both of them had finished. Arwen picked up Silvren’s quiver which was full of freshly made arrows and helped slide it onto Silvren’s back.
“Thank you.” Silvren managed to whisper as she buckled the golden clasp that held the straps that crossed over her shoulder and chest together. Her lavishly decorated bow and knives were fastened to the back of her leather quiver that her father had the smiths make for her years earlier.
“I never thought you would be doing this, yet I wish I were brave enough to be going along with you.” Arwen sighed helplessly as she gazed upon her sister whose was dressed to fight among men.
“You still can, if you hurry.”
“No, father would kill me and someone has to cover for you as long as possible. The twins cannot possibly cover for both of us. I accepted long ago that my place was at home not at war.”
“Oh, Arwen, please don’t start.” Silvren pleaded, knowing it was hard enough for Arwen that Aragorn had left with the Fellowship.
“You had better go.”
Silvren nodded and with one last glance around her room, she walked out onto her balcony and carefully climbed down the wall. Slowly and discreetly, Silvren made her way towards the east gate. Arwen watched her sister maneuver through the darkened city towards the gate and small crystal tears fell from her blue eyes.
* * *
Silvren’s trip lasted several days as she traveled both and day and night in order to catch up with the Fellowship. She would pause now and again to rest and listen and look for anything that was out of the ordinary. Wildlife seemed scarce and the weather seemed constant except that it slowly grew colder as she approached the mountains. Every so often she felt as if someone was watching her which sent chills up her spine and caused her blood to run cold. When that happened, she pushed herself to travel further and faster. The gloomy silence of the surrounding lands made her felt at unease and she knew that she and the fellowship were being watched, but by who, she did not know.
* * *
It was on the eighth of January when the Fellowship came to rest on a broken, rocky slope of tumbled land that was the border of the country that the Men called Hollin. One of the places the Elves use to dwell when the land was called Eregion. The cool air nipped at their noses and smelled of the fresh snow that covered the Misty Mountains. Frodo sat on an overhanging rock and Sam was bent over a small fire poking at the sizzling bacon and crispy biscuits he was cooking for Frodo. Frodo sat watching Merry and Pippin be tutored by Boromir in swordplay on the level land below Frodo. Aragorn sat on a rock near to the two hobbits and man puffing on his pipe and occasionally calling out instructions for the young hobbits.
“If anyone asked my opinion, which I know they’re not.” Gimli said in his loud, rough voice as he approached Gandalf. “I’d say we were taking the long way around. Gandalf, we could pass through the Mines of Moria.” he said as the old wizard looked up at him with intensity featured on his wrinkled face. “My cousin, Balin would give us a royal welcome.”
“No, Gimli. I would not take that road unless I had no other choice.” Gandalf answered in calm voice that slightly upset the hopeful dwarf.
Merry and Pippin finally decided to take matters into their own hands and pushed Boromir to the ground and climbed on top of him.
“Hold him. Hold him down, Merry!” Pippin called out.
“Gentlemen, that’s enough.” Aragorn said as he stood up and walked over towards the two hobbits, his sword resting against the rock he had been sitting on. Aragorn pulled on their shoulders, but they turned around and at the same time, they grabbed his right foot and flipped Aragorn onto his back, an apple falling out of his pocket.
Gandalf chuckled at the scene that was playing out and noticed Legolas leave his perch as he ran past the quarreling men and hobbits.
“What is it?” Gandalf asked as everyone turned to face the elf.
“Someone’s coming this way.” Legolas called out to the wizard.
“That can not be.” murmured Boromir.
“Who is it? Can you tell?” Gimli called down from behind Gandalf.
“It’s Silvren!” Legolas shouted with a heart filled with joy and despair as he leapt down from the ledge and ran towards her.
Legolas hurried towards Silvren who had just now noticed the elf hurrying towards and her and then threw his arms around her in a tight embrace. “What are you doing here? I asked you to stay in Rivendell.” he said as he cupped her face in his hands and planted a quick kiss in her lips. His joy momentarily overtaking his disappointment and fear.
“I couldn’t, Legolas. I was too afraid. You knew I wouldn’t be able to stay there long, so why would you ask me to do such a hard thing?”
“It was worth a try.” he said and then noticed the short length of her hair to which his face took on a new look of horror. “Your, your hair! You cut it!” he said gazing at her with wide eyes.
“Yes, I did.”
“But it was so beautiful and I-“
“Legolas, it’ll grow back. It’ll be easier for me to fight with.”
Legolas nodded weakly as he continued to gaze at her new hairstyle, wondering if he’s ever get use to it.
“Good morning, Lady Silvren!” Merry and Pippin called out cheerfully as she and Legolas hurried back to the hill to where they were resting.
Silvren laughed at their cheerful cries, knowing they would keep her entertained along the journey.
“Good morning, Merry. Good morning, Pippin. Good morning, Sam and Frodo.”
“Good morning, my lady.” Sam muttered under his breath as he looked down at the ground, trying to hide the fact that his cheeks were as bright as a rose.
“You cut your hair!” Merry called out in surprise, noticing her shorter hair for the first time.
“Yes, I did.”
“I like it.” Pippin smiled.
“Well I never said I didn’t.” Merry glared at him.
A confused look crossed over Pippin’s face as he gazed at Silvren. “Are you wearing a man’s outfit?” he asked tilting his head to the side.
“Pippin!” Merry hissed and nudged the younger hobbit with his elbow.
“Well, in a way yes. My sister designed it after Legolas’ outfit but it was made for me.” Silvren explained.
“Well, how often do you see it? The elves don’t let their women fight so it’s uncommon and a bit peculiar if you ask me, not to mention unattractive.” Gimli grumbled only to have Gandalf smack him on the leg with his staff. Gimli glanced away and over at Boromir as if he hadn’t done anything.
“Legolas? What’s wrong?” Silvren asked when she noticed him squinting at the dark clouds in the distant sky. The dark patch grew closer and drove north like smoke flying into the wind, too fast for a cloud.
“What is that?” Sam asked. Everyone turned to look at the dark mass approaching closer and closer.
“It’s just a wisp of a cloud.” Gimli said sounding irritated.
“It’s moving too fast and against the wind for a cloud.” Boromir said from below them, once again on his feet.
Silvren squinted at the patch of darkness. Flocks of birds flying at a great speed were steadily growing nearer. Silvren gasped realizing it was a large cloud of crows; spies of Saruman.
“Crebain from Dunland!” Legolas shouted.
“Hide!” came Aragorn’s commanding voice not even seconds after Legolas’ alert as he scooped up some of their belongings.
The whole hollow was covered in a flood of activity as Sam grabbed a pot of water and quickly poured it over the fire. Packs and satchels were snatch up off the ground and rocks and bodies darted under rocky overhangs or into the thorny undergrowth.
Legolas grabbed Silvren’s hand as he pulled her along behind him and then shoved her into a tangle of sharp, dry shrubs. Legolas lay down next to her and forced her down against the cool, hard ground. Sharp thorns of the surrounding shrubs buried themselves into their clothes and hair as they lay as still as possible.
Not even a moment later, the loud, shrill squawks of the black crows could be heard circling above the hollow. Silvren could feel the cold air brush against her face as the crows flew above them, their jet black wings beating fiercely against the air. Glancing up through the tangle of branches that lay above her, Silvren could see the black, sleek bodies of the crows flap over head as they circled above the hollow once more. Finally they turned around and flew back the way they came.
The two elves scrambled out from under the dry shrubs and darted back to where the others were emerging from their hiding places and gathering around Gandalf.
“The passage south is being watched.” Gandalf muttered in disappointment. “We must take the pass of Carahras.”
Everyone glanced up at the high peak to the east of them, its peak blanketed with pale snow. Laboriously they climbed a sharp sloped of the mountain, the snow being ankle deep on the elves and humans and almost halfway up the hobbit’s calves. Gandalf walked in the front with the three youngest hobbits and Bill the pony. Legolas and Silvren trudged along behind the hobbits with Gimli and Boromir right behind them. Aragorn brought the rear with Frodo several paces ahead of him. Frodo’s head hung low with many thoughts filtering in and out of his mind as he slowly made his way through the snow.
Suddenly, Frodo slipped and fell backwards, tumbling down the snowy bank until he was caught by Aragorn. Aragorn helped the poor hobbit to his feet and helped dust some the snowy remains off his shoulder as Frodo tucked his hand into his shirt, searching for the Ring.
Both Aragorn and Frodo glanced up with a look of concern as something glistening in the sunlight among the pure white snow caught their eyes. The One Ring had fallen from Frodo’s neck and now lay in the bright snow, sparkling under the heavy sunlight.
Everyone’s limbs seemed to freeze as Boromir moved towards the Ring and bent over, picking the chain out of the snow. Boromir held the dangling Ring up to his eyes, entranced by its power, seeing nothing but the shinning gold of the Ring.
“Boromir!” Aragorn called out from below, his hand resting on Frodo’s shoulder as the hobbit watched Boromir with a fearful expression written across his face.
“Tis a strange fate that we must suffer so much fear and doubt over so small a thing.” Boromir muttered to himself, but loud enough that the others could barely hear him. “Such a little thing.”
Silvren gulped silently as she watched Boromir from Legolas’ side. A sick feeling had washed over her as soon as she had seen him pick the Ring out of the snow. She could sense the nervousness in Legolas’ body and knew that he and Aragorn would be ready to attack Boromir he refused to give the Ring back to Frodo.
“Boromir!” Aragorn called out in a commanding g tone. The sound of his name and the tone it was used in seemed to bring Boromir out of his trance and back into reality as he glanced down the slope at Aragorn and Frodo. “Give the Ring to Frodo.” the Ranger ordered firmly.
Slowly, Boromir walked down the slope towards them, slowly extending the Ring towards them. “As you wish.” he answered, finally close enough for Frodo to take the Ring.
Frodo reached up and snatched the Ring away from the human, a feeling of uneasiness tugging at his heart as he did so.
“I care not.” Boromir said with a small chuckle and tousled Frodo’s dark, wavy hair with his hand before turning and making his way back up the slope.
Slowly, Aragorn released his hand from the hilt of his sword that he had been gripping and watched Boromir with a close eye wondering if they could finish the quest without another episode with Boromir and the Ring.