When I woke, most of the Fellowship was still asleep, but Legolas, Aragorn, and Sam were awake, and the hobbit was distributing food. Sam bustled over, and handed me a plate of food, and a cup of wine.
Not wanting to be rude, but at the same time, not wanting to disobey the law, I set the wine on the ground next to me, then remembering that I wasn’t in the US anymore, I took a sip. It was okay, but slightly sour. I’m not a fan of sour things, so you can imagine the look on my face when I took a sip. Thankfully, no one noticed, because Frodo had just woken up, and Sam was hurrying over to him with a plate of food. Aragorn came over to me and sat down.
“I want to thank you for what you did last night,” he said.
“What was that exactly?” I asked.
“For helping me realize that Gandalf’s death was not in vain, and that I can do what I was born to do,” he said, after a moments thought.
`Wow, that was profound,’ I thought.
“I do not know how to repay you for your kindness,” he concluded.
I knew exactly how he could, but all in do time. “A means will present itself in do time,” I answered.
I stood to return my plate to Sam, and Aragorn stood next to me. He took my hand, and kissed it, looking up into my eyes. Looking down into his soft eyes, I could tell he meant to thank me from the bottom of his heart.
Alex woke up in time to see the exchange between my hand and Aragorn’s lips, and walked over with a confused look on her face.
“What just happened?” she asked, eyebrows raised, looking between Aragorn and me.
“Aragorn thanked me for talking him into leading the Fellowship from here,” I answered, and told her of the events of last night’s conversation.
“Wow,” was all she could say.
After she got over the `wow’ of last night, she sat on the ground, and began eating.
I sat next to her, and decided to try my taste buds on the wine again. This time, it tasted better, and less sour. I took another sip, and it tasted almost sweet. I guess what they say about your taste buds changing must be right. Alex looked at me with a look that said, “Are you crazy!”
“What,” I said. She looked from the glass of wine in my hand to my face, and back at the wine.
“You drink that stuff?” she said incredulously.
“Yes,” I answered, “It’s not that bad, and it doesn’t have a lot of alcohol in it. I guess it must be like the wine in Jesus’ time, where it was like watered-down grape juice left to sit.”
She gave me another one of her looks that said, “Now I know you’re crazy.”
I just shrugged my shoulders, and took another sip. She rolled her eyes, and kept eating.
By the time Alex finished eating, the rest of the fellowship had woken up, and were sleepily eating the food given to them. I watched as Boromir finished, handed his plate to Sam, and walked over to me.
“My lady,” he said. “I am Boromir of Gondor.”
I was standing, so he bowed. I sort of curtsied back, though it probably looked like more of a bow.
“I’m Ivy,” I said, “I am pleased to meet you, Boromir of Gondor.”
“The pleasure is mine, Lady Ivy,” he said, and reached for my hand, brushing the back of it with his lips, and turned and walked away.
Alex walked up to me, and gave me another one of her looks, and said, “Why does everything happen to you?”
I shrugged my shoulders, and walked up to Sam to return my cup, taking the last swig as I went. She rolled her eyes.
“Thank you Sam that was wonderful,” I commented as I handed him the glass.
Legolas walked over to me. “We have not properly been introduced,” he said, “I am Legolas, Prince of Mirkwood.”
“And I am Ivy,” I said, “Pleased to meet you.”
“And I you,” the elf replied.
“Legolas,” I said, “I want to thank you for tending my wound last night. I don’t know how I can repay you.” I really didn’t, after all, he’s an elf, what can an elf need from me?
He looked at me, and said “Try to stay out of the path of orc arrows and swords from now on.”
“I’ll do my best,” I replied, and noticed his smile.
Aragorn approached me where I sat on the ground, twiddling my thumbs. I looked up and he smiled. “I need to check your shoulder, mi’lady,” he said. I nodded and slowly unhooked the hook-and-eye hooks down my back so I could slip the sleeve off of my shoulder easily.
Aragorn unbound it, and inspected it. “You are healing quickly, lady. One more day covered by a bandage, and it should be well enough to resist any more infection,” he concluded, and wrapped it again, but is face was grim.
“What do you mean, `more infection’?” I asked.
“It’s infected, but the athelas should take care of it,” he said.
“Thank you, Aragorn,” I replied.
He thought for a second, and then said, “Lady, the day we arrived in Lothlorien and noticed you were injured, you said something strange, and your friend said that you would explain later.”
“Yeah, yeah!” and 4 hobbits almost barreled me over. “We want to hear about it!!”
“What’s all this racket?” Boromir asked, and 4 voices told him that I was gonna tell them about `that stuff Lady Ivy was saying last night.’
“Well,” I said, motioning Alex over to us, “Where I come from, there is an ancient race of people that spoke a language that is known as Egyptian. That’s the language I was speaking. There are books that teach you how to speak and write it, and I’ve been studying them for about 4 years.”
“She has been sharing with me the things she’s learned and now it’s sort of a natural thing to speak it amongst ourselves,” Alex said.
“So what did you say?” Legolas asked from his place leaning against a tree. I jumped, because I didn’t know he was there, and banged my shoulder against the tree trunk. I groaned. Legolas sat down next to me, and asked if I was all right.
“Yes,” I said, “You just scared me.”
“I am sorry mi’lady,” he replied.
“Anyway,” I said, “What did you ask?”
“I asked what you said the first night in Lothlorien in Egyptian,” he said, fumbling over the strange word.
I looked over at Alex. I didn’t remember what I had said.
Alex answered my unvoiced question, “Khakh ini mu.”
“Oh,” I said, now I remembered, “I was asking for water.”
“And what did you say, Lady Alex,” piped up Pippin.
“I asked what she had said, because I hadn’t heard what she said,” Alex replied, “So she repeated it.”
“What are some other words in E-E–,” Merry asked.
“Egyptian?” I answered, and laughed as he tried to pronounce it right, “Well, what do you want to know?” I asked.
Gimli came up and said, “What is `axe’?”
Alex answered this one, “Mi-neb.”
“And what’s `garden’?” asked Sam eagerly.
“I knew you were going to ask that,” I said, “Hesep.”
“What is the word for `star’?” Legolas asked.
I let Alex answer that one, and she did, “Seba.”
Pippin decided to ask one, so he said, “What’s `food’?”
Laughing, I answered, “Shaboo.”
For the next quarter of an hour, the hobbits peppered us with question after question after question. I’ll bet that we answered about enough questions to fill a book. Finally, Alex shouted stop, and they quieted, but we could see the longing in their eyes to ask us a million more things.
“I’m hungry,” complained Pippin, and we could all hear his stomach rumbling as he stood there. “I need some shaboo!” he added, and we all burst out laughing.
“There’s nothing unusual about that, Pip,” Merry said, rolling on the floor.
Aragorn recovered enough to tell Sam that it was unanimous, they were hungry, and the hobbit recruited Gimli’s help to get food going over a small cooking fire.
Slowly, and I mean slowly, we all calmed down and stopped laughing. I crawled back to where Alex was, and sat next to her. I noticed that she had a cut over her right eye. Then I remembered that it had been there since Moria.
“Are you all right?” I asked, “because it looks like no one’s looked at that cut.” I paused, and looked at her left hand, “or that gash on your hand.” I looked back up at her, “Are you going to get anyone to look at it?”
“No,” she answered, “it’s fine.”
“No it’s not,” I said, she started to protest, but I held up my hand to silence her. “Listen to me, that has got to get looked at! You can go let someone do it willingly, or I can drag you over to Legolas. Which would you rather do?”
“Neither,” she answered, and I took that as a `drag me over to Legolas,’ but I decided to drag Legolas over there, so I got up to go get him. He was talking to Gimli about trees, and the dwarf wasn’t convinced that they were comfortable to sleep in.
As I approached, Legolas looked up, and asked, “Is there something I can do for you, mi’lady.”
“Yes,” I answered, “My friend, Alex is injured, and won’t let me look at it. She has a cut over her right eye, and a gash on her left hand. She says it is nothing, but I would like you to look at it.”
He looked up at me, and said, “Of course, mi’lady.”
I hurried over to Alex, and the elf ran lightly behind me. Alex saw us coming toward her, and sat down, resigned to the fact that this was happening. Legolas walked in front of me, and knelt next to Alex, who leaned back against a tree.
Legolas ran his nimble fingers over her two wounds, and told us he would be right back. He walked over to Sam, got a rag, soaked it in the pot of warm water, and returned to us. He knelt once again at Alex’s side, and rubbed the rag over the cut on her forehead to clean it, then reached into a pouch on his belt for some athelas. He took one of his long knives, and shredded the leaves into strips about 1/8 inch wide. He squeezed them to get the clear gel-like liquid that issued from it. He collected this on a corner of the rag, and rubbed it on Alex’s cut.
“That should do,” he said, “Now let me see your hand.” Alex did, and this time willingly. She held up her left hand, and Legolas felt around the gash.
“It’s not infected, but it is fairly deep,” he said. He proceeded to place fresh athelas leaves on the gash. Aragorn walked up, and I can only guess that he had been watching us the whole time. He handed the elf a bandage, and Legolas thanked him.
Aragorn looked at us, and said, “What happened?”
“Alex was hurt like this in Moria, but wouldn’t tell anyone, not even me,” I said, “She said she was fine, and wouldn’t let anyone look at her injuries. I had to go over to get Legolas and bring him here to look at her.”
Aragorn looked at us both, then said, “From now on, promise me that both of you will seek out either Legolas or me as soon as possible if you are injured in the future. Both of your wounds could have been infected, thankfully, only one was and it was easily treated. You may not be so lucky in the future.” We could tell he was serious, and the look he had given us left no room for argument. “Promise me,” he concluded. We both told him we promised, and he left, looking much less cheerful than when he had arrived.
Legolas rose, and gave us a very serious look (elves can be scary when they do that) and said, “Aragorn is right, if your wounds had been infected badly, you might not be alive right now. Please, do not do that again.” With that, he walked back to Gimli, who had a confused expression on his face.
Alex looked at me, and said, “Legolas said my cut wasn’t infected, didn’t he? But Aragorn said one was.”
I looked away, “Mine was,” I said softly, avoiding her eyes.
She looked at me and said, “But Aragorn said it wasn’t!”
“No he didn’t, he didn’t say it was or wasn’t,” I said, “He told me later that it was; earlier today when he changed my bandage.”
Alex looked over at Aragorn, and asked me, “Why is he like that? All slumped over. It’s like he’s mad at himself.”
“That’s because he is,” I told her.
“Why is that? He doesn’t have a very good reason to get mad at anyone, except us, I guess. He really didn’t seem happy when you told him what I had done,” she said, still looking at Aragorn’s back.
“He’s mad at himself for not seeing our injuries to begin with. He was grieving Gandalf, and wondering what to do next as our new leader. He didn’t notice we were hurt until we brought it to his attention. I talked to him last night, and he’s blaming himself what happened to me. It probably isn’t making him feel better that he didn’t notice what you were hurt until he saw Legolas over here. If I was thinking, I wouldn’t have said that you had gotten hurt in Moria.”
“Let me go talk to him,” Alex said, still looking at his hunched-over figure.
“Sure,” I said, “Be my guest.”
I’m not sure what she said, but in about 15 minutes she returned and she wasn’t so gloomy. The Aragorn that walked beside her wasn’t looking as downcast either, but she wouldn’t tell me what she said, no matter how much I persisted. She said it was between her and Aragorn.
I love Lucy.
Thanks for reading, and please tell me what you think. So sorry for the wait, though I guess if no one reads it, that doesn’t matter.