Time passed, and Laurie stayed only a very few days (by hobbit standards) in Hobbiton. Around this world and the next, clocks kept ticking away virtual seconds. Those who were once young grew up, and the old died. But Frodo did not forget the strange appearance of Laurie.
It is true that he did not often think of her, and when he did, the hobbit could not draw her face into his mind, but still some short lessons learned and stories told stayed with him. As did the Ring.
After nearly two decades, Frodo Baggins approached the sober age of 50 (still looking as he had at 33) and Gandalf came back. Yet again, only the sound of the clock ticking could be heard, and with utmost care, and near silence, Frodo and Sam packed their bags.
But Laurie had not forgotten– indeed, she could not if it pleased her– and carefully watched and waited for her time to come.
Yet she was not idle. Laurina visited many worlds, only some of which we can read about in “fictional” books. But her eye was set on Middle Earth. Frodo left Hobbiton.
Suddenly, Laurie jerked into alertness. There was evil near! She stood very still, quieting her breath until her sharp senses could distinguish the sudden surge of cruelty she had felt. But it was gone.
Laurina gazed out over the Harnen river on the skirts of Harondor in Southern Gondor from which she had just come. (What better to do than explore the land if you come early?) Laurie shook her head sadly. About 1000 miles to Rivendell.
I should take Frodo until 20th October to reach Rivedell. That was 17 days from now. She could travel quickly, extrordinarily so. Seventeen days. So be it, she thought, let us see if I am really in as good a shape as I think I am.
Frodo crawled to the edge of the road and watched the black rider until he dwindled into the distance. He couldn’t be sure, but it seemed to him that suddenly, before it passed out of view, the horse turned to the right, going into the trees.
On Frodo traveled, as did Laurie. This part of the story you know for mr Baggins, and I will not reiterate it. Laurie ran without obstical, or indeed any thing of interest.
“Where is Mr Frodo?” Laurie asked of Elrond, who was standing near the borders of his land, gazing to the North. He looked up in surprise at two large green eyes, perhaps tinted with a lighter shade of weariness.
“Frodo Baggins? He has not come yet. I have sent elves out to search for him.” He frowned, “Who are you?”
“Thank you,” Laurina said, and turned quickly, ignoring Elrond’s question. Whistling to a horse she had kept wandering about Rivendell for some time, she jumped gracefully on its back, and was off.
Laurie tucked her head low against the horse’s bare mane, whispering quietly to it: “Faster Flila, or mr Frodo will be in greater danger yet.” On Flila, the horse, ran. He needed no more than a word from Laurie to be off with more vigor tha he ever had before. Or perhaps it was the energy Laurie pumped into him.
After several long minutes, Laurie stopped her riding to witness a scene few watched. Away from her, not fifty yards, stood a white horse. On top, rode Frodo. He had his sword drawn, and was facing nine riders in black across the river.
“By Elbereth and Luthien the Fair,” Frodo said, lifting his sword with a last effort, “you shall have neither the Ring nor me!”
The leader of the Black Riders stopped, half way across the Ford, and stood up in his stirrups. He raised his hand. Frodo’s sword broke in his shaking hand and fell to the ground. The elf-horse snorted and reared. The closest of the black horses was nearly to the shore!
At that moment there came a roar and a rushing: a noise of loud water rolling many stones. In great turrents came water from the mountains, riding as horses do in the bright sunlight; tearing down the Black Riders and their screaming horses.
But Frodo fell from his horse, to top of the broken sword.
As if coming out of a dream, Laurie rushed forward to him; pulling him fromt he harm of the water to drier land. The white elf-horse followed, and went to stand with Flila.
Laurie noticed Glorfindel and Aragorn on the far side of the river, keeping the Black Riders from escaping. They paid her no heed, thinking her an elf-child.
Laurie laid her hand on Frodo’s shoulder gently, surpressing a shiver. The very feel of evil that had so long tormented her crept unforgivingly through every limb of her body, with a sickening, freezing feel. She pushed the sorry reminder of things not-so-long-passed away, concentration her mind.
Looking through eyes keen enough to see magic, Laurie watched as Frodo faded still. She leaned forward and froze the motion of the wraith’s power, draining her own.
Then, standing, she raised one arm slowly, in a waving gesture toward Glorfindel and Aragorn, indicating that she was taking the hobbit. They nodded, and shouted something in response that was all but drowned out by the water: “Hurry, take Frodo to Elrond!”
Gently, and to Sam’s relief, laurie picked up his master in strong arms, and sprang with him upon her horse. “Ride more swiftly now, Flila, for the time has nearly come.” But Glorfindel’s white horse stayed, to wait for its master.
And Flila ran, as if the Black Riders were after him, instead of washed down the river.
The time passed quickly now, and presently Laurie came to the edge of Rivendell where Gandalf had joined Elrond, presumably at the later’s request. As she approached, Gandalf looked up, recognizing her slowly. “Qualara!” And then, remembering himself, “Follow me!”
With quickness of pace that would seem unusual for such a man, Gandalf led the way followed closely by Elrond and Laurie to the very room in which Frodo woke four days later.
“The others? Is Aragorn with them still?”
“Yes, and Glorfindel. They are quite safe now. All except Frodo.” Laruei replied, laying him upon the bed. “Do you wish me to go back to them?”
“No, but leave us alone for a little”
“Perhaps I might offer assistance?”
“No,” replied Elrond, without looking at Gandalf, “you have done enough.”
“Perhaps,” countered Gandalf, as he did know Laurie slightly, and her powers of healing, “we shall call.” Elrond looked at Gandalf, surprised. She was only a — well, either a very short elf, or a strange-looking hobbit. Or something he had never heard of. (The last was the closest.) But he did not want to trust her. In any case, Laurie left them to tend to Frodo alone.
“Why do you say so?” Elrond asked Gandalf when she had gone, “She is little mor than a child!”
“If a child,” Gandalf answered grimly, “then a powerful one. She can heal; me may need her to. She has much experience in dark wounds. More, perhaps, than I.”
“Who is she? Qualara, did you say?”
“Yes, and no. Call her Laurie, if anything.”
“A simple name, if she has the power you speak of!”
“That is why she picked it, I believe.” Elrond did not reply to this, but directed his attention to the wounded hobbit. Curiously, Frodo did not seem to be growing worse. Elrond wondered if it was because of this Laurie . . .
Elrond leaned back in his chair, three days later, resting. There had been no success with the knife, and Frodo had begun to get progressively worse again. Elrond closed his eyes, letting his mind wander for a moment after a long search through it for a cure. Frodo would soon be lost.
The door opened, and he straightened, but it was only Sam.
“Excuse me, Mr. elrond, sir,” he said.
“Yes, Sam?” Elrond answered wearily, “What is it?”
“Begging your pardon, but there is someone here who wants to see Mr. Frodo. I thought it would be best to ask you, first.”
“Lethim in. And find Gandalf; he should be back by now.” Sam shrugged and nodded in reply, than dashed off, leaving the door slightly wider open.
Before Elrond approached a small figure, hooded and cloaked all in forest green. he stood up, but the figure removed her hood. It was Laurie.
“I thought you weren’t going to come back unless I called!” Elrond said, surprised.
“And let Mr Baggins die? No. With your permission, I will see what I can do to assist.” Laaurie answered in a low, melodious voice that somehow filled the room.
“You have it,” Elrond answered, grimly, “and I wish you luck, for neither I nor Gandalf have had it.”
Laurie glided silently forward. She sat on the bed, leaning over Frodo. Elrond could not tell what she did next, but his keen elf-ears picked up part of a song:
“Come from the depths of the Nazgul’s sleep
See the light of day once more,
Remember the truth that runs so deep,
In every vein, in every pore.
“You are the One who is chosen to go,
May the blade of the wicked melt,
Through wind, and shine, and sleet and snow,
The power of the Qua is at your call.”
Then she was silent for a time, before motioning to Elrond to come rear. What he saw was the tip of the Nazgul’s blade, in an open wound which Laurie was holding.
“I cannot touch the thing,” she said softly, “or any of its kind. Remove the blade.” he did so. Frodo shifted slightly in his sleep, for the song– and something else?– had torn him form the spirit world.
“I was never here,” Laurie added, “I congradulate you on removing the knife.” Elrond nodded mutely. Somehow he had alread know that her visit was for his eyes alone, but more so because of some connection she had to the hobbit. . . . ?