The dream was troubling.
She was at the cottage. It was just like she remembered. The smooth wooden door with the knot in the wood…the little window that peered out over the soft rolling hill the house was placed upon. It was cheery, with warm earthen colors. The one place she should be most welcomed…she was shunned.
Somehow, she had opened the door. Placing her foot softly into the doorway, Ellysia closed the door behind her. But the entire room was filled with smoke. She gasped for breath, choking as it filled her lungs. Her hand scrambled for the doorknob, but it was locked. She tugged and tugged upon the handle, but it would not budge.
She ran to the window, trying to find some way to escape this wretched place. But something…no, someone…blocked her path.
All was clouded at first, but then…then the face came into view. Ellysia’s eyes bulged and she screamed as his hands tryed to grasp her throat…
…but suddenly, before her was Aragorn, his eyes deep with concern. She could feel his arm around her shoulders, holding her up, as she gasped for breath.
“Ellysia, Ellysia,” he said softly. “What is the matter? Are you alright?”
Her hands held a tight grip upon his shirt, as her head was swimming.
“I’m…alright. What happened?” she asked haltingly, still trying to catch her breath.
“You were thrashing about in your sleep, and you screamed. I came to see if you were alright,” he said softly, his rich eyes troubled.
Her gaze rested at the end of her bed to where Legolas sat, a hand laid protectivly upon her leg, in silent comfort.
Before she could say anything, another cry arose from far off.
“Wait here,” said Legolas, and he and Aragorn ran off in the direction of the noise.
Ellysia rested her head back upon the cool earthen floor. Her heart thumped fast in her chest. The dream seemed so real…
Soon, Legolas came back alone.
“What happened?” she asked him softly as he sat down beside her.
“Mithrandir and Pippin…had to go,” he said lightly, for he would fill her in with details later. “Rest now.”
Aragorn and Merry returned to Legolas, Ellysia, and Gimli. He cleared his throat. “So four of the company remain. We will ride on together, yet not alone. The king wishes to leave as soon as possible. I shall travel with him to the Helm. But for myself, and any that will go with me…”
Legolas cut him off. “I for one!”
“And Gimli with him!” barked the Dwarf.
“Don’t leave me behind!” Merry added, his little hands stout upon his hips. “I have not been much use yet, but I will not be treated like baggage.” The other three of them nodded in consent.
Ellysia had been listening, but was surprised when all four sets of eyes turned in her direction.
Aragorn lowered his voice. “I cannot ask you to travel into this peril we all knowingly put ourselves in. But your presence could be usful yet.”
He noted the smirk on her face, and added,”Which is ment in the nicest way possible. I know of some things, but you seem to know the true knowledge of healing. We would be greatly honored if you wished to accompany us. But the decision is yours-“
Ellysia cut him off. “Estel, I would be honored to travel with you and your company. But there are some things I must first attend to. Then, will I let you know of my answer.”
She smiled at them all. “You all are lucky to have such wonderful friends as one another. I know I am.”
Turning back to Aragorn, she cleared her throat. “So, where are we off to now?”
They had been riding for some time when a Rider from the rear rode up beside Eomer. “My lord,” he whispered. “There are riders behind us, many of them.”
Eomer nodded. He could hear them. What he did not know, was if the oncoming bregade were friend… or foe.
Eomer called the company to a halt. All could hear the murmur from footfalls of many horses. Eomer rode out infront of them.
“Halt! Who rides in Rohan?”
The persuing travellers fell to a sudden stop. A dark hooded rider, bathed in moonlight, dismounted his steed and walked towards them, his palm held up in peace.
A clear voice sang out. “Rohan you say? It is a good word to my heart at this time.”
“You have found it,” Eomer countered. “But no one passes these lands of the King Theoden these days without his leave. State your name and business in the Horselord’s realm!”
“Halbarad Dunadan, Ranger of the North am I!” he declared, sweeping off his hood. The tall, dark haired man stood defiant in Eomer’s wake. “Do you know of Aragorn, son of Arathorn? It is him we seek.”
“And you have found him!” cried Aragorn, handing the reins quickly to the hobbit that rode with him, and jumped down from his mount.
“Halbarad!” he exclaimed, embracing the other man. “Of this joy we had least expected!”
Ellysia’s grip loosened upon Saracen’s reins. A wave of relief swept through her. These men were friends.
“I have thirty Dunadan that ride with me,” continued Halbarad. “But the brethen Elladan and Elrohir travel with us: they wished to go to war also.”
“My hearts lightens a little at the arrival of you, but even the slightest bit of comfort sets me better at ease,” Aragorn replied.
Soon they were off again, but with thirty two new companions.
As they rode onward, a sense of calm and almost cheer rested amoung the ranks, as if Aragorn’s sudden lifted mood was infectious.
Ellysia rode alongside Legolas and Gimli, as she surveyed their surroundings. Soon they would be back to the open, rolling plains of Rohan. Although if asked she would deny it, her heart could not help but jump slightly at the thought of Edoras again.
Legolas had been silent for some time, and since the lull in communication had started, he decided this was the perfect time to swing in the questions.
“Ellysia…” he said softly, nudging Arod closer to Saracen. “What happened…in your nightmare? You seemed terribly troubled. You were thrashing about in your bed, and muttering things.”
Ellysia took a deep breath. She wanted to tell him…just anyone. It plagued her thoughts as it never had before, as they came ever closer to Edoras. She opened her mouth…
…and his face flashed before her eyes. The air caught in her throat as she gasped, and her heart quickened. She blinked, trying to forget the image.
She glanced slightly in the direction of Gimli, who seemed to be nodding off behind Legolas. She had nothing against the dwarf, but she didn’t want the world to hear. So she switched her tounge.
[I’d rather not tell you, Legolas.] she snapped.
His eyes flashed a glance at her. [If your sure.]
She frowned as the smile dissapeared from his face, and she pushed Saracen further forwards. She almost reached the front of the company, when another strode his horse up beside her.
“Who do we have here?” a calm, warm voice beckoned from beside her. The dark-haired, fair faced elf who owned it smiled at her. He tilted his head slightly. “Have we met?”
The sight of this elf lifted her spirits a bit. Ellysia laughed. “I thought you might remember me sooner or later, Elladan.”
“Hmmm…” the half-elven countered. “You remind me of a pretty little maiden, in servitude of my father, who seemed to have a strange knack of landing me flat upon my back.” His grin broke into a laugh.
“It cannot really be you, can it, Elle?” he said, smile wide.
“Elle?” she replied, quirking an eyebrow at him, pretending not to care. “Ah, yes, Elle…you liked to call me that. Or some other names, that I would not repeat, that did land you the priviledge of being swung at.” She could not help but smile with him. He leaned in, and she gave him a tight hug.
“Where have you been off to, Elle?” he excaimed. “Last I heard was that you had run off, and my father was very displeased with you.”
Ellysia laughed. “No, no, that’s not what happened! Although he may be mad…”
And she began relating her story to him. The rest of the night they rode side by side, till they got out of the Deeping-Coomb and back to the Hornburg.