The next day passed just as quickly for Ariengil, as she just spent all day with her friends, laughing and joking. She realised how much she appreciated her friendships and wished that she had been a child for longer, without having to go to war. She would hate to say farewell to all of her friends, who she held so dear in her heart, but it was something that she had to do.
Later that day, Ariengil almost walked into Galadriel. The older elf was looking terribly sad about something, but Ariengil was too afraid to ask what it was. Galadriel, however, told Ariengil anyway.
`My dear,’ began Galadriel, and then she led the two of them to a stone bench and sat down. She took Ariengil’s hands in her own shaking hands and looked into her beautiful blue eyes. `I sense a terribly troubled time ahead. I beg you not to return to Middle Earth, please. If you do not go, I know you will have tortured nights and days as you worry about Tarma; but if you go, I fear you may not return.’
Ariengil gasped and drew back her hands in shock. `That can’t be true,’ she whispered. `Why are you saying this?’
`I am not trying to upset you, my child, although I know I am failing. Please just promise me you will not go.’
`I can’t do that, because it is necessary for me to go. If I don’t, I will have a miserable life and I will hate every second of it. I am to go- and I am to leave the day after tomorrow. I respect you and thank you for everything you’ve done for me, but I now ask you not to make me stay. Goodbye.’
Ariengil stood to leave, but Galadriel took her hand before she left. She gazed into Ariengil’s eyes, and tears formed in her own eyes. She nodded slowly, and then walked away. Ariengil looked down at her palm and saw that the older elf had left a ring for Ariengil. It was a beautiful ring, with a silver band that fitted Ariengil’s finger perfectly, and on the top of the ring there was a beautiful crystal in the shape of a flower with five petals. Ariengil took a deep breath and kissed the ring. She felt at ease with it on, and she felt as though she were lying by a waterfall, or by a lake or spring. Suddenly she knew what she was wearing- it was one of the three rings given to the elves. It was Nenya, the Ring of Water.
`This is my gift to you, Ariengil. May it help you and make you feel at ease. Be at peace, and go with my blessing,’ came a voice in Ariengil’s head. Galadriel was bidding her farewell for the last time.
Ariengil thanked Galadriel and wandered along sadly, contemplating what the older elf had foreseen- what if she actually did not return? She absentmindedly walked along, and bumped into her best friend.
`Ariengil,’ cried Dînhith. `Be careful of Quesse.’
`Quesse?’ queried Ariengil. She looked into Dînhith’s hands, which were holding a chick. It was from the egg that they had found yesterday- she had hatched early in the morning. It was a dear little creature, with its blue feathers sitting comfortably around its plump form, and Ariengil could only smile when she saw it. She leant closer, about to place a kiss on the bird’s head, and received a nip on the nose instead.
Dînhith giggled and stroked the baby bird lovingly, as Ariengil scowled at it. `I can’t have a red nose tomorrow- it’s my wedding day,’ she cried.
`I’m sure it will be fine,’ laughed Dînhith. `Anyway, Quesse is innocent- you just scared her. She doesn’t bite normally, see?’ she asked as she poked her finger towards the bird. She was obviously wrong though, because Quesse nipped Dînhith’s finger and flew out of her hands, into the distance. `Well that was nice,’ grumbled Dînhith.
`Never mind,’ laughed Ariengil. `I’m sure she didn’t like being a pet anyway.’
`After I saved her and everything,’ murmured Dînhith. She kept up the bad mood and the mumbling until they reached their group of friends, who were sitting around a table and looking at something. But as soon as they saw the girls, they hid it away.
`What are you doing?’ asked Ariengil innocently.
`Oh, nothing,’ replied Falquan in a tone that implied that they obviously were not doing nothing.
`Fine then,’ cried Dînhith, who was still in a bad mood. `You always keep secrets from me and it’s not funny,’ she shouted. And with that, she stormed off. Ariengil watched her go, with one eyebrow raised. She wasn’t bothered about the secret, and she couldn’t be bothered to go after her friend if she was going to have her head bitten off for it. Beleg stood and chased after her, and they went off together.
Ariengil sat by Harma and sighed gently. He put his arm around her and she rested her hands on his leg, admiring the ring that Harma had given her. A little later, Harma noticed Nenya on Ariengil’s finger, and questioned her about it. She briefly told the story, with all of her friends listening intently. She glossed over the fact that Galadriel had mentioned her not returning at all, as she didn’t want to worry her friends.
Suddenly she began crying, to everyone’s dismay. `What is the matter?’ asked Harma worriedly.
`Oh, I’m just going to miss you all so much; and I keep wondering if I actually will return. Galadriel said-‘ she coughed gently, then forced herself to tell them what Galadriel told her, `-she said that if I go, I might not return. I don’t want to lose you all, my dear, dear friends.’
Everyone looked shocked, except for Harma. He laughed, to Ariengil’s shock. `You don’t believe her, do you?’ he asked.
`Yes, yes I do,’ whispered Ariengil in reply. She looked at Harma in a confused and almost disgusted way.
`Well that’s ridiculous- I don’t believe her, and you shouldn’t either! We’re going to Middle Earth, and she’s not going to scare us.’
`Yes, we are going to Middle Earth, but not because you told me too, but because I want to. And I do believe her, and you are wrong not to. I can’t believe you’d say that about her,’ cried Ariengil, and she stormed off.
Harma cringed and chased after her- the others got out what they had been hiding, and got back to work. Ariengil ran into her room and slammed the door, which was then opened seconds later by Harma. Ariengil had run to their room and was about to fling herself onto the bed and cry, but Harma entered too.
`Ariengil,’ began Harma. He stopped and started again. `Ariengil, I would believe her in any other situation, but I guess that I just don’t want to believe her. Why would I want to believe her? I want us to live together forever. Maybe,’ he suggested, `maybe she means that we won’t return, but we’ll live in Middle Earth for the rest of our lives.’
`That’s a long time Harma,’ whispered Ariengil. `I want to see our friends again, and you said she was lying.’
`I’m sorry, Ariengil. Please forgive me.’
`I forgive you, Harma. How could I not? But do you forgive me for storming out?’
`Forgive you?’ laughed Harma. `But my dear, I had forgiven you before you’d even left my sight; I had forgiven you when you turned to face me a minute ago, with a scowl on your face; there is no way I couldn’t forgive you- especially a day before our wedding day,’ he murmured.
Ariengil’s heart fluttered as he murmured that last sentence. Each time they mentioned the wedding, her heart did a little flip and she couldn’t help smiling broadly. Harma nuzzled her neck romantically and she shivered happily as his kisses became softer and more romantic.
His lips moved to hers and they kissed passionately and powerfully, their bodies were pushed against each other, keeping them warm. `Tomorrow,’ murmured Harma meaningfully.
`Yes,’ replied Ariengil between kisses. `It will be perfect.’
We return to the forests again. Our hobbit friend has lost all faith and finds the true meaning of apathy by the end of this chapter. He is taken captive by a band of elves and one human. This chapter suggests that some of his past will be revealed soon.