Note: I don’t own any of Tolkien’s creations. I am basing this on the movie, though I might have not been totally accurate.
We flew down the steps, Boromir in the lead. I was almost blinded by the excruciating pain emitting from my shoulder. Boromir almost fell, but Legolas caught him, and hauled him back. We ran on, and came to an extremely large gap. This gap was wide, and Legolas was the first to jump it. Safely on the other side, he called for Gandalf. He too, leaped the gap safely. I was next as Legolas rested his eyes on me
There was a crack, and Boromir cried,
<< Merry, Pippin! >>
and grabbed them, and with a mighty leap, landed on our side, as the section of the stairs that they were standing on, fell into the abyss.
Aragorn motioned to Sam, and threw him across, to land safely on our side in the arms of Boromir. Aragorn reached for Gimli, who said forcibly,
<< Nobody tosses a dwarf! >>
and gave a cry as he jumped with all his might. He would have fallen, but Legolas grabbed his beard to haul him up, despite his objection of,
<< Not the beard! >>
Aragorn turned to Alex,
<< Ready? >>
he asked, and with her nod, tossed her to Legolas, who easily caught her and set her down further down the steps.
Another crack, and more of the stairs gave way, as well as the stairs behind Aragorn and Frodo, crumbled as a huge section of the ceiling crashed into it. They were standing on an island of stairs, nothing behind and nothing in front, with a who-knows-how-long straight drop on either side.
<< Steady, hang on! >>
Aragorn shouted to Frodo, as the stairs began to wobble.
<< Come on! >>
Legolas urged as they leaned toward us.
Thud! The section made contact with our side and Aragorn and Frodo flew at us and were caught by Legolas and Boromir.
We continued at a dead run as we rushed toward the Bridge of Khazad-Dûm. The steps abruptly ended, and the ground leveled out. We could see the bridge very clearly now. It was a little wider than Boromir’s broad shoulders, about 2 1/2 feet wide.
<< Over the bridge! Fly! >>
came Gandalf’s shout, as the Balrog continued to gain on us. He turned to watch the Balrog, as if to challenge him, but thought better of it, and ran after us. We were almost to the bridge.
We reached the bridge, and ran across. Gandalf was last, and stopped in the middle of the bridge to turn and face the Balrog.
<< You cannot pass! >>
he yelled at it.
I turned toward Gandalf; he was muttering things I could not hear to the Balrog. Alex, and I, with the rest of the fellowship, watched in horror as the Balrog swung his sword at the wizard on the bridge. Gandalf, thankfully, met the sword with a blue light emitting from his staff. Gandalf staggered from the force of the blow, but held his position. He held his sword and staff together, and slammed them into the bridge. There was a cracking sound, and the next step that the Balrog took was its doom. It stepped and the bridge broke, tumbling into the abyss with Durin’s Bane. Gandalf was left at the edge of the bridge, and slowly turned back to us. He had taken only a step, when the Balrog cracked its whip n one last attempt to take the wizard with him. The whip wrapped around Gandalf’s leg, and pulled him down, not releasing him until he was hanging only by his fingertips.
Frodo yelled the wizard’s name, and tried to run to him, but Boromir caught him, and held him back.
The wizard was able to haul himself up enough to say,
<< Fly, you fools, >>
then he fell.
The rest of the journey out of the mines was a haze. I knew what was going to happen later, but it just hadn’t seemed so real in the movie. I wanted to run back to the bridge, I wanted to cry, and I wanted to scream, all at once.
We finally came out of the mines, and the entire company sank to the ground, overcome by grief. Merry and Pippin were trying to comfort one another, and Gimli was being difficult, so Boromir had to hold him back from storming back into the mines after Gandalf. Legolas just stood there, a confused look on his face, for death, to him, was a stranger. Sam sank to the ground, and wept uncontrollably. Alex laid a hand on my good shoulder, and squeezed. I looked up into her face, and saw tears streaming down her face.
Aragorn cleaned his sword with a rag, and said,
<< Legolas, get them up. >>
Boromir looked up, and said,
<< Give them a moment, for pity’s sake. >>
Aragorn countered him by saying,
<< By nightfall these hills will be swarming with orcs. We must reach the woods of Lothlorien. >>
Noticing that the Ringbearer was slowly walking away, the Ranger called his name, and Frodo turned, revealing his tear-streaked face.
<< Let Aragorn look at that, >>
Alex told me urgently, fingering my shoulder wound.
<< Get off! >>
I said, angrily, [Q/]Aragorn has a lot of other things on his mind right now. I don’t want to bother him. >>
<< Still, someone should look at it, maybe Legolas, >>
<< No, >>
<< I’ll be fine until we reach Lothlorien! >>
Lothlorien! It’s sooo beautiful! The leaves, like gold rustling in the wind. We had just entered the Golden Wood, and since there had been no questions about us, Alex and I had both silently agreed that we were accepted, to a certain degree. We were walking behind Aragorn, when we suddenly found ourselves nose-to-nose, or should I say nose-to-tip with the rather pointy end of an arrow. We were completely surrounded by Lorien elves, bows drawn, strings taunt, arrows notched.
<< The dwarf breathes so loud, we could have shot him in the dark. >>
said a tall, blonde elf, that Aragorn, Alex, and myself recognized as Haldir, March Warden of Lorien.
He led us away down the trail, and soon we came to a flet.
<< Mae govannen, Legolas Thranduilion, >>
Haldir said, grasping his forearm in welcome.
<< Our fellowship stands in your debt, Haldir of Lorien, >>
Legolas said, in Elvish. Strangely, I could translate Elvish in my head.
<< Aragorn of the Dunedain, you are known to us, >>
Haldir greeted Aragorn.
<< So much for the legendary courtesy of the elves, >>
<< Speak words we can all understand! >>
<< We have not had dealings with the dwarves, since the dark days, >>
Haldir said, and I could see distaste in his eyes.
<< And you know what this dwarf says to that? >>
Gimli shot back, and he let out a string of Dwarvish that I couldn’t understand, but I got the jist.
<< That, >>
said Aragorn, grabbing Gimli’s arm,
<< was not so courteous. >>
<< You bring great evil with you, >>
Haldir said, after walking around to look at Frodo.
<< You can go no further, >>
Haldir said, turning form Frodo to Aragorn.
Aragorn went into deep, heated, conversation with Haldir as the rest of us sat or stood, waiting.
<< This is not good, >>
<< now we have to rely on Aragorn’s negotiation skills. >>
<< I agree, >>
I said, nodding,
<< I’m also worried about the fact that we could have changed the history of the quest. >>
<< Gandalf’s death was not in vain, >>
Boromir said, looking at Frodo, and causing Alex and I to stop talking.
<< Nor would he have you give up hope, >>
<< You carry a heavy burden Frodo. Don’t carry the weight of the dead. >>
<< You will follow me, >>
Haldir said, walking up, and speaking to Frodo.
<< Caras Galadhon, >>
Haldir said, and I could sense admiration in his voice,
<< the heart of Elvendom on Earth. Realm of the Lord Celeborn and of Galadriel, Lady of Light. >>
We climbed a winding stair, just like in the movie, and reached a large flet on which the Lord and Lady of Lorien waited. They walked down to us, and Celeborn spoke.
<< Ten there are here, yet nine there were set out from Rivendell. Tell me, where is Gandalf, and who are these? >>
he said, motioning to Alex and myself.
<< My lord, these women came upon us in Moria, >>
<< We are as curious as you to find out where they came from, and how they ended up in Moria. >>
All eyes turned to us, and Alex spoke, her voice shaky,
<< My name is Alex. This is Ivy. We don’t come from Middle-earth, but a distant place called Mansfield, Ohio. We were playing a game, when we fell through the ground into Moria, onto Legolas and Aragorn. >>
Galadriel nodded, and said,
<< Though the reason for your arrival here may be unknown, and the means strange, the Valar have a purpose. You are welcome here. >>
<< Thank you, my lady, >>
I said, bowing. Galadriel’s eyes then turned to the others in the Fellowship in turn. Alex and I knew what was happening, and stood by silently.
I was exhausted and relieved when Galadriel and Celeborn dismissed us and we left the flet. I looked over at Alex, and I could tell she was worn out too. I leaned over to her, and said softly,
<< You okay? >>
She nodded, and answered,
<< Just tired. >>
I added in an undertone,
<< Drop-dead tired. >>
We were settled in a small grove and were each given fresh clothes to replace our grimy -and in some cases, blood stained- clothes. The hobbits settled down, as did Gimli. Alex sat down on the ground and laid back. I plopped down, and leaned back against the large bole of a large tree. The second my shoulder made contact with the trunk, I let out a gasp, and then a groan. Pain seared through my shoulder and down my arm. Aragorn and Legolas looked up at me, and rushed over. Alex noticed, and came as well.
<< Khakh ini mu, >>
“* I said, pain constricting my voice. I had studied Ancient Egyptian since junior high, and as a senior in high school now, I had had a little practice.
Alex knelt next to me, and said,
<< See ek djed. >>
I repeated what I said. Aragorn and Legolas looked dumbfounded. Alex looked at them and said,
<< We’ll explain later. >>
<< It’s her shoulder, >>
Legolas said, recovering himself and pointing to my injured shoulder.
Aragorn ripped away the cloth from the wound on my shoulder and inspected it, his fingers probing it carefully.
<< Find some athelas, >>
Aragorn said to Legolas, who nodded and started off.
<< Wait, >>
Alex said to him,
<< Bring some water too. >>
Aragorn took a rag and attempted to wipe away the dried blood, but only succeeded in getting a rather loud groan of pain from me.
<< Why did you not speak of this before? >>
<< I didn’t want to bother you, or slow us down, >>
I answered through gritted teeth.
Legolas returned a few moments later with a few leaves of kingsfoil. Aragorn thanked him in Elvish, and the elf knelt beside me. Aragorn placed a few leaves of the healing plant on my shoulder wound, and handed me a water skin. Almost immediately, the pain lessened and died. Using a bandage that Legolas had found, Aragorn wrapped my shoulder tightly, while I drank deeply from the water skin. He handed me a new set of clothes, and indicated a small clump of trees that I could change behind.
I thanked him, and walked to the trees he had pointed to. Slowly, I pulled off my tattered and bloodstained uniform, and slipped on a set of clothes that looked a lot like the ones that Legolas wore, only this tunic had hook-and-eye hooks down the back to my waist. Babying my shoulder, I returned to the rest of the Fellowship.
Uneasily, I watched as Boromir, Legolas, Frodo, Sam, Merry, Pippin, Gimli and Alex fell asleep, one by one. This left only Aragorn and me.
He sat smoking his pipe for a while, then put it out, and stared at the stars. I walked over to him, and sat down, I could feel a heavy weight of guilt emitting from him.
<< Aragorn, there is something I’ve been meaning to tell you since Moria, >>
I said, slowly. He turned to me, and gazed at me through slightly clouded eyes as I continued, uneasily.
<< Thank you, >>
I said, and I meant it.
<< For what? >>
<< Since you met me, you have gotten hurt, almost killed, and watched a dear friend of mine fall into the abyss, then here, just now, I did not notice you were injured. You would thank me for this? >>
<< No, >>
<< I thank you for not killing me when we first met. For allowing me to travel with you, tending my wound, and saving my life, >>
I said. His face was in his hands, and his shoulders slumped.
<< And most of all for not giving up when Gandalf died, >>
I concluded, placing a comforting hand on his shoulder as I stood to return to my place beside Alex on the forest floor.
* These sentences are Ancient Egyptian according to Egyptian archeologists. The Egyptain in this chapter is as true to the actual language as I can get. There is a limited vocabulary that I had access to, so I did the best I could. The translations will come in later chapters when Alex and Ivy explain.