After hurridly getting out of Orthanc, the troop mounted their horses and set out for the gatehouse arch. Ellysia still clutched her right hand, like it burned.
Legolas pushed Arod up beside Saracen. “What is wrong with your hand?” he asked her gently.
“Nothing!” she said quickly, whipping her hand away from his sight, curling it over the reins as many times as she could. Straightening her back, she pushed her hair out of her face. “Come on…I don’t want to be here for long,” she said quietly to Legolas, and clicked her tongue. Saracen weaved his way through all of the other mingling horses till he was at the middle, alongside Eomer. Ellysia sat silent atop him.
Eomer momentarily looked at the new rider beside him. She looked familiar. He knew she had been riding with them, and he had seen her at the Helm, but…he felt as though he had known her before.
When they passed out from underneath the arch, out of the shadows sprung many large Ents. At the front was Treebeard himself.
The Ent spoke to them all in turn, till his gaze came to rest upon the two elves. First, he spoke to Legolas. “You come all the way from Mirkwood, my good elf? A great forest it used to be!”
“And still is, ” Legolas replied, a content smile upon his face. “But not so great that I would tire of seeing new trees. It was very hard for me to pull myself away from Fangorn’s wood. I hope to be able to return there again, someday.”
The Old Ent’s deep, rich brown eyes twinkled with delight. “I hope you may have your wish, Master Elf!”
His gaze then came to rest upon Ellysia. “Ah, another elf…a little woman. Would you take leave of your wood and come visit mine?”
Ellysia bowed her head to him. “My greatest pleasure it would be to visit your forest, Sir Ent.”
Treebeard’s eyes sparkled. “Good, good!” he said, shifting his limbs to face the entire bregade.
He wished them all a fond farewell, especially the hobbits, and they started on their way.
Ellysia staretched her arms. She was tired of riding, and a little dissapointed, too. She knew they weren’t going to make it to where she had to go, but she could always travel off a side rode by herself.
She had grown fond of these people, in the short time she knew them. The were but flashes of extraordinary legends, who had lives she did not know, and experiences she would never have.
Gandalf…the wizard. He seemed wise and yet like a grandfather to some. And Theoden…she wished he remembered who she was. Then, there was Legolas. He was interesting… she barely knew him, yet felt as though she could tell him everything, everything that… happened. Ellysia didn’t want to leave them. She knew not where they went, or what they were to do…but she felt compelled to stay, alongside this band, and share in their joys and sorrows.
Ellysia would miss them very much.
The path was rough, and Ellysia bounced lightly in her seat atop Saracen. Still, her heart was troubled. She flipped her right hand upside down, as to see her palm. The marking never bothered her…even though she didn’t remember when she had received it. She thought it was a scar, or birthmark, and thought nothing of it. But its shape is what bothered her.
Her hazel eyes rested upon the little black hand print in the middle of her palm. It was tiny, and perfect. But strange.
“What are looking at?”
The warm, yet gruff voice beside her startled her. Aragorn had let back and was now riding beside her. She pulled her hand away and wrapped it tightly around Saracen’s reins.
“Oh,” she laughed nervously. “Nothing.”
He nodded, but said nothing.
Soon they reached a sufficent campsite and everyone dispersed to find their own spots to rest. A little fire was made, and bread passed out amongst the weary travelers. Legolas passed Ellysia a lembas wafer and she bowed her head a little in thanks. She stared into the fire as she nibbled on ghe edge of the waybread.
Legolas stretched, resting his head against a tall tree, folding his hands behind his head. He eyed Ellysia’s absentminded look.
“Something troubling you?” he asked slowly.
She jumped lightly in her seat, as if she had forgotten he was there. “Oh…no. Nothing, I’m fine.” She looked over to where he lay and gave a feeble smile.
Standing up, she brushed the waybread crumbs off her creme dress and stepped lightly over to her belongings. Loosening the string that held the bag tight, she pulled out her blanket. As she spread it out upon the earthen floor, something tumbled out she did not see.
Merry, who had been sitting beside her, picked up the fallen object. It was her book. He tugged lightly on the hem of her dress.”Is this yours?”
When Ellysia turned around to see what it was, her heart quickened, and she resisted the sudden urge to pull it from his little hands. “Yes, it’s my…ah, book.”
As she sat down, she edged closer to the little hobbit.
The little voice inside her head spoke up. No one’s going to judge you like you do. Remember what Eowyn said. Just let him look at it.
She set a little smile upon her lips. “Would you like to look at it?”
“May I?” his little voice replied, a grin upon his dirt-smudged face.
“Of course,” she said softly.
The binding creaked as he opened the book slowly. “Ellysia Telrúnya,” he said softly, reading the inscription of the first page. “Who gave this to you?” he asked, turning to face her.
“I don’t really remember…I think my mother gave it to me. I’ve had it just about forever…I just never started writing in it until a little while ago,” she said, staring at the book.
He simply nodded and turned the next page. Her heart quickened again. A part of her said that it was not to late, she could take it away now, and none of them would ever know. But she had to. Letting out a sigh, she peered over Merry’s shoulder.
“Are you going to read it?” she asked apprehensivly.
“No,” he said. “Theres not enough time. But I still want to look. May I?”
She smiled. “Yes, of course.”
He leafed through a couple of pages until he came upon a drawing. It was of a woman, seemingly rushing to a man infront of an archway, his arms open wide, welcoming her into them. It was beautifully drawn, and was vivid with color.
“Hm! This looks like Rivendell,” said Merry.
“It is,” Ellysia said, staring at the picture. It made her feel warm all over, like someone wrapped a blanket about her. She remembered when the pictured took place, how happy she was. “My friend drew this picture for me.”
Placing a finger on the woman, Ellysia turned to Merry. “This is me,” she said softly.
Merry nodded. “And, who is this?” he asked, pointing to the man.
“His name…is Amrod,” she said softly, eyes sparkling. “He came to visit me in Rivendell.”
Merry smiled. “You two must be very in love, aye?”
Ellysia blushed, but looked the little hobbit in the face. “Yes…yes, I think we are.”
Merry grinned. “Will you tell me about him? Or at least more of Rivendell? It’s been a good while since I’ve heard a tale that hasn’t ended in death or sorrow. It would be good on my ears.”
Ellysia laughed. “If your sure…I have been known to talk incesently.”
Merry laughed in return. “That’s alright. I’ll listen.”
Gandalf puffed on his pipe, letting out a long wisp of blue smoke. Aragorn was seated beside him, fiddling with his own pipe.
Without taking his gaze from the fire, Gandalf spoke to him. “Something troubling you, Aragorn?”
The Ranger looked to the Wizard. “Mithrandir…I do not know if this is my own personal confusion, but did you see the elven woman’s hand?”
Gandalf nodded, setting his pipe down. “Yes…the marking in the middle, it is a smaller hand. An uncanny likeness to the Hand of Saruman, do you think not?”
Aragorn leaned closer to the Wizard, as to keep their words private. “What new devilry is this?”
Gandalf shook his head. “You needn’t worry, Aragorn. It is no harm to us.”
The older man lay his head back a little in rest. Picking up his pipe again, he drew in his breath, and let out another long wisp of smoke.
“Old, forgotten things oft arise in strange times…”