Time seemed to go by quickly, and yet slowly. Aralorn, with pain still lingering in her heart, grew to accept that Ambar and Aranel were married now, and very happy. She was fairly content with her life.
Aralorn woke up one morning, hearing cheerful noises. She sat up, listening. It was an unfamiliar sound – like children, giggling and talking amongst themselves. Slipping out of bed, Aralorn walked to the window. Pulling aside the smooth, white curtains, she saw four little men, who looked more like children, hugging each other and laughing cheerfully. Looking closer, she recognized one of them as the hobbit Arwen had come back with, with dark hair and a slightly pale face. She had told her that he was a relative to Bilbo, the hobbit that had been staying in Rivendell for some time. Aralorn, at first confused, remembered the events of two days ago: Arwen had returned with a small hobbit, who had looked as close to death as one could get. She had also brought back news that Aragorn and three other hobbits would come back within the next few days. Aralorn had wondered what Aragorn would be doing with four little men, traveling to Rivendell. Elrond had explained to her that the hobbit, Frodo, possessed the One Ring. It had somehow, accidentally, fallen into his hands and he had no choice but to take it to safety. She had asked why Frodo was so ill, and was horrified at what she heard. It seemed now, that this matter was not unknown to the enemy. By the grace of the Valar, it seemed that Frodo was now better, for he was standing outside reacquainting with his friends. How merry they looked…so innocent. He probably had no idea what he was up against. Frodo was the last person who should be dealing with the Ring. Why not someone else? Aralorn frowned in pity for him, and turned away from the window, to ready herself for the coming day.
A little later that morning, Aragorn and Aralorn decided to take a walk on horseback, for he had returned with the three other hobbits the night before. She asked her brother many questions about his journey, and in detail, wanted to know why Frodo had in his possession, the One Ring. Patiently, Aragorn answered them.
“And this hobbit was entrusted with the One Ring? One that does not know what evil power he holds in the very palm of his hand?” Aralorn asked frowning.
“There was nothing else that could have been done,” Aragorn answered. “Gandalf the wizard knew perfectly, better than anyone, the circumstances they were in.”
“But could not Gandalf have taken it to safety himself?”
“No, he couldn’t have,” Aragorn said, “Aralorn, the Ring has a will of its own. Though he would take it out of a desire to use it with right intensions, even someone as good as Gandalf may not be able to resist its great power of corruption.” Aralorn was puzzled. “Through him, or any other, it could wield a power of great evil.”
“Is there any who could withstand its corruption?” Aralorn asked doubtfully.
“I do not know,” Aragorn said, his voice clouded with doubt as well. Noticing that Aralorn’s face was downcast he added, “Do not worry, Aralorn. I will not lie and say that this matter is nothing of great importance, but I have faith that Lord Elrond will find a solution.”
When Aralorn and Aragorn had finished unsaddling the horses, they saw Frodo and his friends sitting on a bench near by. Aralorn informed her brother that she wanted to meet them, very much. She was studying them keenly, as Aragorn guided her to them. The four of them looked up, seeing them come.
“Frodo,” Aragorn said in greeting. “I am glad you’re better.”
“Thank you, Strider,” Frodo said, in a small, hallow voice. “For…what you did for us.” Aragorn smiled.
“I would like you to meet my sister,” he said. “This is Aralorn.”
“Hello,” all four of them said, almost in unison.
“It is a great pleasure to meet you all,” Aralorn smiled, her eyes glazing over all of them. They were jolly folk, with rosy cheeks and alive eyes. Except for Frodo. He looked weary…probably from both his near death experience and the fear of the evil that he had seen.
“Aralorn, this is Peregrin Took, Meriadoc Brandybuck, Frodo Baggins and Samwise Gamgee,” Aragorn said. Each of them nodded as they heard their names.
“But,” Peregrin said, in a voice that perfectly matched his apperacne. “You can call us Pippin, Merry, and Sam.”
“I shall be happy to, Pippin, Merry, Frodo and Sam,” Aralorn said, trying their names on for size. They fit perfectly.
“I don’t think I have ever seen a flower so beautiful,” Aralorn remarked, looking thoughtfully at the delicate, purple flower in her hand. It had been one week since the four little guests had arrived, and she and Arwen were in the garden, picking flowers to decorate the great hall with.
“Indeed,” Arwen said, “it is among my favorites as well.”
“Say, what occasion are we decorating the hall for?” Aralorn asked, gently laying the flower in her basket.
“My father is holding a council here,” Arwen answered. “He has summoned dwarves, men and other elves to Rivendell, and we are having a welcoming feast in their honor.”
“What are they to discuss in this council?” Aralorn asked, only wanting to confirm her guess. Arwen lowered her voice somewhat.
“The One Ring,” she said.
“What about it?” Aralorn asked leaning in.
“What to do with it, of course,” Arwen answered. “It cannot stay in Rivendell, for there is nothing that the Dark Lord will not do to reunite himself with the Ring. It is too dangerous for it to stay here.” Aralorn wondered what they would think of to do.
“Could they not just put it in a place unknown to all?” Arwen sighed softly as Aralorn said this.
“There is no place where someone will not find it,” she said. “They are hunting for it. Seeking it. Nothing else matters to them, now. Wherever it is, someone will find it.” Aralron felt a chill race down her spine. This was not something that could be dealt with quickly…or easily.
Just as the sun was beginning to set, as the birds were silencing, when nature was quiet and still and dim, Aralorn went to the stables. She had not visited Ithil at all that day, and she wanted to bid her goodnight with a grooming. As she was quietly walked down the isle of stalls, she decided to say hello to Bill, the pony belonging to the hobbits. He was a friendly little beast, who always lit a smile upon her face. Just as she came to the stall door, she saw that someone was inside. It was Sam, the hobbit.
“Hello, Sam,” she said softly, for she knew that he had not noticed her. He turned around and smiled a little.
“Lady Aralorn,” he nodded.
“Spending some time with Bill before the hours grow late?” Aralorn asked.
“Yes,” Sam answered, lightly skimming a brush over Bill’s coat.
“Does he like it here?” Aralorn grinned. Sam did, too.
“Oh, yes,” he said. “I think he finds it very comfortable.”
“Good,” Aralorn patted Bill’s neck. “A faithful pony like Bill deserves a comfortable stall.” Sam only nodded and smiled bashfully.
“Are you finding it the same?” Aralorn asked.
“Yes,” Sam answered. “But it’s very different from…my home.” His eyes looked distant for a moment.
“I felt the same way when I first came to Rivendell years ago,” Aralorn remarked.
“Oh,” was all Sam said.
“I came from Rohan,” she said, just then realizing that he probably didn’t know where or what Rohan was. “Home of the Horse Lords,” she added, more to herself, barely loud enough for Sam to hear. She sighed. “Well, I must groom my `faithful pony’ now. I’m glad to have talked with you again.” Sam smiled and nodded.
hello, again! muchas gracias for reading! I hope that you didn’t feel like you were whisked through time, I just felt that there wasn’t that much to say through that huge chunk of time. Anywhoo, please comment…I would really like to know what you thought of it!