The silence that rained upon them since he spoke ended with boundless questions from Aragorn and Gimli. Gandalf smiled as he looked at them as he answered each and every question of theirs.
Legolas was standing off to the side watching them talking to Gandalf, he noticed that Solaris was off gazing into the dark forest alone and by the way her hand went to her face – he could tell she was crying. Was it of joy or of sadness? He didn’t know as he walked over to her.
“Solaris, i nîr? (Solaris, why the tears?)” he whispered, as he gazed at her tear streaked face.
“Why has `he‘ returned but not him?” requested Solaris, looking at Legolas.
“Ú-iston Boromir ú-, dan lû tîn nant or sí, Solaris. Lû Gandalv ú-nant a hon sí. (I do not know why Boromir was not returned but his time was done here, Solaris. Gandalf’s time was not and so they returned him here.)” Legolas stated calmly, even though he himself didn’t understand why Gandalf was back.
“Iston…lû tîn nant naud anSauron i morn hîr. (I think I now know why…his time is bound by that of Sauron the dark lord himself.) His battle has yet to be fought.”
“Manen istadh? (How do you know?)” whispered Legolas, as he pulled her further away from the others.
“I just do. He will not leave this world to Sauron and so they, the Valar have sent him back here to do battle.” said Solaris, as she looked at Gandalf who was at that moment talking with Aragorn.
“So tell me Aragorn what has come of our company since I `passed‘ away?” Gandalf asked, as he looked at Gimli and Aragorn before he turned his eyes onto Legolas and Solaris who were returning from their private discussion.
“We went through Lothlorien where we met and gained favor from Galadriel, the Lady of The Woods. We rested our minds and our bodies there for a few days before we journeyed onto Amon Hen where we ended up realizing that our paths must part from that of the Ring bearer.” Aragorn stated calmly.
“What happened to Boromir then? I do not see him here.” Gandalf asked.
“My husband is dead, Gandalf.” Solaris stated calmly and yet the sound of her voice revealed her deep grief.
“Husband?!” spoke Gandalf, Aragorn and Gimli all at once.
“Yes, husband. Boromir is…was my husband,”
“But he never told us you were his wife. He asked for your hand in marriage but he did not want to marry you on the journey!” spat Aragorn. He knew Boromir loved Solaris deeply but he never thought they would marry when the journey was over with. Aragorn believed that Boromir was using Solaris for her gender’s ability to satisfy a man’s hunger but he never knew he would marry her. He thought Boromir was just using the elf.
“But he realized that when we finish this quest he knew he would either be torn away from me by his father or that he was going to die on the quest to destroy the Ring. He died protecting the two Hobbits Merry and Pippin and died a noble death,” spoke Solaris. Her eyes dripped of tears long held back since Boromir’s death.
Legolas wrapped his arm around her and just held the grieving elf. “I’ll continue the tale, Solaris.”
“Thank you, Legolas.” Her voice said as it cracked with the cries.
“It was when we decided to stop and rest just before the Argonath. I noticed that they were busy whispering about getting married before the end of this quest happened and that if they were already married his father would have no choice but to accept her as Boromir’s wife. I asked them what they were whispering about and that was when I was pulled into being the one who married them. We did it at night so none of you or the Hobbits would make a fuss about it. Solaris and Boromir married that night, under the stars.” Legolas stated calmly, as he stroked the long red hair of Solaris.
“I knew that there were strong feelings forming between the two of you, Solaris. I could tell just by looking at Boromir.” Gandalf said, his tone of his voice was gentle and soft like a butterfly.
Solaris smiled. “I didn’t want to fall in love during this quest but you can not deny what your heart is saying to you. I couldn’t help but to fall in love with Boromir.”
“I assume that is a risk we have when we have a woman in the midst of nine males of different races.” spoke Gimli.
Aragorn nodded, “I would have to say yes, it is a very strong risk we all run when a female is in a group like ours. But I must admit that I was worried that you couldn’t keep up the pace or keep going like you have, Solaris. I was wrong to even doubt that you would be a burden to us and slowed our pace.”
Legolas realized that Aragorn was admitting his doubt about Solaris being in the group. “I too must state the same. I feared that you would only hold us up. I believed that you would only cause us more trouble than a group of Orcs.”
Gandalf smiled as he watched the Man and Elf admit their doubt about allowing Solaris in the ranks of the Fellowship. He glanced over to Gimli, who was smiling an unseen smile beneath his beard. “So tell me friend Gimli, what was your doubt about Solaris?”
“I knew she would make it as far as we have, Gandalf. Boromir on the other hand felt that she would have turned back within a fortnight of our journey.” Gimli stated, roughly.
“If I recall your wager you had with Boromir…this is what he said, she will not last two weeks and this is what you said…I wager she will endure for a full turn of the moon before she turns back for Rivendell. I remember your wager and that you owe the poorest person in Gondor…a bag of gold, Gimli.” Solaris stated with a smile.
“Yes, that I do owe someone a bag of gold. But how will I find that person in the city?” asked Gimli, looking at her.
“I’ll help you find him or her, Gimli.” Solaris smiled gently.
“Thank you.” Gimli whispered before they turned to look at Gandalf again.
“We need to move now. There is time for haste,” said Gandalf, rising from his place on the rock. He wrapped himself in his old tattered cloak, and led the way. They followed him to the edge of Fangorn where the grassy plains of Rohan met. There was no sign of their missing horses.
“The horses are still gone.” Legolas stated, as he scanned the plains for the horses. “It will be a weary walk.”
Gandalf smiled under his beard as he whistled three long whistles. The sound of hooves met their ears as they wondered what kind of horse was coming to make so many beats of hooves on the ground. Then, they saw a gray horse leading two other horses Hasufel and Arod, the two horses they borrowed from Eomer. They quickly greeted their horses and resumed their places on their backs.
Gandalf spoke, “Shadowfax is the chief of the Mearas, lords of horses, and not even Théoden, King of Rohan, has ever looked on a better. He can run like the wind and the wind is what we need right now, my friends. For now; we are heading to Théoden, the King of Rohan to speak with and then for battle and war beyond the grassy plains of Rohan in Isengard!”