DISCLAIMER: I don’t own any original members of the fellowship, or any other character Tolkien wrote (darn!) Though, Elaina comes from the Moria (dark-chasm) of my mind. P.S. Jenna1227 is a fictional name, inspired by my sister’s real name.
Well, I thought, looking into the mirror, it’s not a total disaster.

My hair was tangled and wet, apart from its usual brown, straight, plain-Jane style. This was gonna be a mess to fix. Why did I beg Mom to let me grow it long? The swampy mess of my hair was past my shoulder blades.
My face was smeared with mascara that dripped down my cheeks. I looked at myself, and wanted to cry.
It was only a couple hours ago that I had climbed down from my bedroom window to meet Kale and Dan and Lindsay. It was only two hours ago that we had gone (illegally, I might add) to the closed pier and hung around. Why had my raging hormones told me to gather what rebelliousness I had left? I didn’t even really like them. I only hung out with them to piss Dad off.
Anyway, it was only an hour after arriving at the pier that Kale decided to be funny and push me in the water.
Lindsay was pissed. She helped me out of the water, checked me for injuries, and punched Kale really hard in the stomach. We got in her car, and she took me home.
I was sure Dad heard me come in. He was just saving the punishment and lecture until the morning.
I didn’t care. I went to my room, stopping at the mirror. And, wow, here we are.
Like I said, I wanted to cry. I felt stupid for sneaking out. I felt ugly, my makeup dripping and my hair a tangled mess. You know, I always thought my face was really plain. Except my eyes. I had plain brown hair, a plain nose, a plain mouth, and plain pale skin. But my eyes weren’t plain. They were a kind of blue-green, streaky and, well, pretty. Pinch me if I brag.
So I really didn’t have the stomach to sleep. I couldn’t. I decided to spend the last of my freedom before I got grounded.
I turned on my computer, going to my favorite site. It was a Lord of the Rings fan fiction site.
Now, I know what you are thinking. Oh, great, another dork in fake pointy ears and who bugs all her friends by talking to them in Elvish.
Nope, not me. I mean, I read the books, saw the movies, and read Tolkien’s other works (Simarillion, The Hobbit, ect.) but it never became a major hobby.
My real hobby was telling pathetic Mary-Sue authors to give up writing. I loved it. Man, these people were pathetic! I mean, shit, these people model their Mary-Sues after themselves (or so they think). Every sad Mary-Sue story I could read, I did.
So I got my bag, unzipping it and taking out a super copy of the Trilogy. I needed to do my research to truly enjoy pointing out every little imperfection in their stories.
The Fellowship of the Princess I read on a particular story’s title, by Jenna1227.
Well, Ms. Jenna1227, let’s see who we have today. Perhaps a fawning peredhil in need of rescuing by Legolas? Or maybe a beautiful sorceress who snags the attention of Aragorn? Pfffaaa… I can be so mean sometimes.
I scrolled down to the description. We have liftoff!
And I quote:

“‘I am Princess Morwenna of the land of Lendrenor. I have come to help you on your quest. For the fate of your ring is tied with that of my kingdom'”

Blah, blah, blah…

“Her eyes were the deepest shade of blue, matching her shimmering dress. Her hair was long and golden. She looked to be someone of great kindness and wisdom. About her finger was a ring of power, wrought in mithril.”

Oh, God. Shoot me now. I scrolled down and read some more. It seemed that within two days she had Legolas eating out of the palm of her hand. Gee, how unusual and charismatic. (Within this story you will notice my sarcastic comments. I try. Really I do. It’s just that I can’t control my mouth/thoughts. My shrink says I need more help than he can give. Unfortunately for him, the thing I gave was hell. *wink wink*).
Anyway, I pressed the review button. It didn’t work. I pressed it again. Still didn’t. I succeeded in giving my index finger a helluva cramp. In one last move I swore and slammed my fist on the mouse.

And then it went dark.

Chapter 2
Darn, I hate technology.

As I regained consciousness, a sharp pain coursed through my hand. If I had been electrocuted, there was gonna be some serious heck to pay at the computer store. I opened my eyes.
The scariest sight I had ever seen hovered above me.
It was a pair of the most terrifyingly blue eyes ever. They were wide and vapid, and really scary.
Blonde hair hung down from the face and onto me.
I got up so fast I got whiplash.
“Who are you?” asked the girl in a fluttery voice.
“Who the in the flying Peloponnesian are you???!!!!” I said, panicking.
She had a shimmering blue dress, and on her finger was a silvery ring.
“Princess Morwenna of Lendrenor.”
That blew it. I fell on the mossy floor, laughing so hard that I turned beet red. Then I realized I still had my copy of the Trilogy in my hand.
I must have a hangover. Your dreams get pretty funky after you drink. Yeah, I thought, it’s just a little liquor in my system. So I got up.
That wench took one look at my jeans and tee and put her nose so high you’d think it was pulled by a puppet string.
“Ah,” she said, “Will you kindly direct me to Bree, peasant?”
“Peasant??!!! I got this outfit at Abercrombie!!! You look like you just stepped out of Green Acres!!!”
Well, not really. I just wanted to make a point.
She looked at me like I was a fresh lunatic.
“Do you know the way to Bree or not?” she asked me.
“Bree, huh? Well, if I didn’t know any better I’d say I was in Middle Earth.”
“You are.”
Figures. I must’ve been dreaming. I slapped my own wrist. Ouch. Definitely not dreaming.
“Okay,” I said, “I’ll take you there. I’ll play along.”
Surprisingly, we found Bree easily. It was only a quarter of a mile off, from the edge of the “Old Forest”, where I landed. Yeah, the little map in the book came in handy. So did my camping skills. (Ahem, the moss grows on the North side of the tree. Take that, Girl Scout Leader Rebecca!)
The town was small and, well, grubby. I know, you’re wondering how a town can be grubby. Well, just picture it. It smells like beer and dirt, and everyone there looks like they’ve never set foot in a bathtub. Yuck, I am so glad I was born in the twentieth century.
“Hey,” I said, “Where’s the Prancing Pony?”
She pointed to the sign with the seemingly drunk horse on it.
Can’t she tell sarcasm when she hears it?
Blah, the usual. Four cuddly hobbits in a booth, sipping some ale. Scary man in green hood chilling in corner, watch’n four hobbits in booth. Heeeellllloo, Viggo, here I come!!!
I shoved miss Mary-Sue-Who aside, heading toward Aragorn. That wench shoved me right back, her narrow cat eyes on handsome.
She turned to face me, again setting the record for the scariest face.
“Stay out of my way, or you’ll regret it.” Holy crap. That was scary.
“Okay, Miss Bipolar,” I replied, mildly amused. Again her eyes narrowed on me. I held my palms open. “Chill,” I said.
She strode over to him.
“Strider,” she said, but I cut her off.
“My Lord Aragorn,” I began. Hey, I’m good at this. I should ask Mrs. Mcmeans if I can try out for the play. “You are being followed. Five of the Nazgul are behind you. You must take the Halflings to Imladris immediately.”
Hah! Take that poopskane! She looked daggers at me. Then again, I thought, she could just be upset because she didn’t know what the heck “Imladris” was. That is the fatal flaw in Mary-Sues. They only know as much as their authors. This one looked like hers only saw the movie.
Aragorn took up his suspicious look. At least I think he did. I don’t know, he was wearing a hood.
“Who are you?” he asked us.
Again, I was shoved aside.
“My Lord,” she said her voice back to its bubbly, fluttery self. “I am Princess Morwenna of Lendrenor. I have been sent to aide you on your quest.”
Poor, poor dear. She failed to know that the council of Elrond hadn’t even gone on yet. No quest yet, sweetie. I think he knew, though.
“And you?” he asked me, cornering me with his sharp eyes.
Must make up alias before dropping in fictional realm. Remind me later. My real name: Elaina. Not too bad for fairytale-ish world. I’ll keep it. Hmm. Elaina of America? Nope. Where did I like best? Let’s see… Gondor, Rohan, Rivendell, Lorien, Harad, Mordor, The Shire? Elaina of Gondor. How ’bout that?
“I am … er… Elaina of Gondor.”
The bastard still looked suspicious. Couldn’t blame him, though. Morwenna was radiating a positively disgusting fake smile.
“How do you know my name?” he asked me.
“Telekinesis,” I said, shrugging. He looked at me with a weird face. I stared blankly back. He ignored me then.
“How do you know my name?” he asked the fembot.
“I have been sent by my father, the king. We must meet the Lord Elrond. Our kingdom is in the gravest of danger.”
“Is this true?” he asked me.
“Whatever floats yer boat.” Again, he looked at me weirdly.
I had better get used to those looks.


Chapter 3

Well, we hitched up the hobbits and away we went! Those things– Ring wraiths– were so annoying. Well, they were a little more than annoying. They were freaky. Every time they screeched it sounded like someone was trying to imitate a howler monkey crossed with a chicken! Kinda thought Morwenna was trying to sing… Gosh, was that irritating… plus, there was no electricity (I know, I know, you’d think traveling with the Fellowship would be exciting– but really all I did was listen to Merry and Pip complain about the lack of food, Sam be fussy over Frodo, and Aragorn give me and the Mary Sue dirty, suspicious, I-hate-you looks.) So finally, on Amon Sul, Aragorn gave me a sword! He went off to look around, while everyone else was all calm and DIDN’T know that they were gonna be attacked by a fleet of evil smelly ring wraiths! I however, kept up my spirits by singing Spice Girls. Middle Earth is the only place you can sing that and not get laughed at–though I did get some weird looks. Pippin was covering his ears (along with the others) when he said the first thing to me that wasn’t questioning my identity or such.
“What in the Shire are you…um… singing?” he asked me.
I looked at him, stopping to let them have a breather before the next chorus. We were interrupted, however, by the screeching of chicken howler monkeys (and no, it wasn’t the Mary sue singing).
“Oh crap,” I said, “Oh crap, crap, crap, double crapazoid!!!”
Everyone stopped from their horrified terror to look at me. A black figure swooped close to us. I immediately (and clumsily) unsheathed my sword, waiting for Morwenna to do the same.
She stopped, cowering and stumbling backward. Drat! Double doody dratted drat! Ya want something done, ya gotta do it yourself!
So, with my amazing maternal instinct, I shielded them all (yes, even her) from those things. What I thought was a scratchy, guttural laugh came from ring wraith number 3. Okay, am I really that pathetic?
Apparently so, because with one sweep of the claw-thingy he smacked me to the side. Well, I tried. You can’t stop fate.
Yada yada, Frodo stabbed, yada yada, Aragorn fire throwing, so on and so forth. We ran in the general direction of Rivendell, though I don’t know why the heck Aragorn thought we could make it. We were so screwed without Gorfindel (or Arwen, for that matter).
Suddenly, a bright light appeared. Could it be? Was it she?
Yeah, and actually really surprised it was Arwen. I mean, what kinda world was this? Must have been the Hollywood version. Oh well. Gorfindel will just have to do without his horse. Arwen picked up the gangrene Frodo, mounting the horse. I took my chance.
“Noro lim, Asfoloth, noro lim!” I said.
Aragorn and Arwen looked at me, not in suspicion, but in surprise. Hurrah, finally some attention!
Wow, Rivendell was GORGEOUS! Did I mention there are hot elves there? Flocks, fleets, and bushels of hot elven bachelors! I know you know the story of the Council of Elrond, so don’t even ask me to tell you about it. Plus, I kinda fell asleep. Sorry, but I was seriously lacking in rest and nurture. Morwenna, however, was ever so kind, volunteering me for the fellowship. Gosh, ain’t she sweet?
Interference, however, was a big thing. What part would I play in this? How much information was I gonna give? Hmmm, I thought, telling of Gandalf’s demise wasn’t an option. That had to play out. But should I save Boromir? Well, let’s just see if I like him enough. Now spare me the lecture about changing the future and crap, because for all I know, this could be a dream, or I could be in a coma or something. I want to make it my own story; however un-Tolkien purist that sounds. We’ll see…
So, we set out. Luckily, I wasn’t the only girl in the fellowship. Unluckily, the other girl was a sick, perfectionist Mary Sue. Need I say more?
My trademark thing seemed to be a long, drawn-out sigh, exaggerated to an annoying huff of air. Aragorn looked at me wearily every time I did that. The others, however, did the same as I, though it seemed I irked him more than anyone else besides Morwenna. She took every darn opportunity to hit on Legolas and Aragorn, laughing obnoxiously and batting her disgustingly long eyelashes. Gag me, please. Every time she did that, I imitated her behind her back, making the most extreme gestures and fluttering my shorter eyelashes to the maximum. It looked like I had a boulder in my eye and was trying to blink it out. And every time I imitated her laughter, I made the fakest, most nauseating smile and then holding an imaginary dagger to my own chest in disgust. But at least someone found my humor, well, humorous. Merry and Pippin turned crimson and made stifled giggles. Aragorn looked almost ready to grin, though out of his polite ranger-guy attitude he didn’t. Legolas smiled slightly, grateful that anyone realized how chafed he was by her never-ending hits. Gandalf just frowned at my gestures, amazed that anyone could have fun when he knew at any moment we could be randomly attacked by orcs and slaughtered. Sam just paid attention to his dear Mr. Frodo, though when Morwenna ruffled Frodo’s head, he scowled and looked ready to bite her fingers off. Gimli all out chuckled, winking at me. Boromir just grinned insanely. Darn, I was starting to like that guy. That was going to complicate things a bit.
So we arrived at the weird group of rocks that those Alfred Hitchcock wannabe birds came by. Boromir started to teach the hobbits how to kick the hell out of his shins, while the others adjusted to the odd interval of rest. I just looked longingly at the swords in everyone’s hands. It wasn’t my fault that I nearly killed Merry when I tripped and my sword landed inches from his face. I remained pouty and huffy for a whole day after Aragorn took it away for “safekeeping”. I sighed at the large shiny sword Boromir had. Aragorn eyed me, pulling out the small sword that I once held, and came over to me.
He held it out to me. “Will you be more careful?” he asked.
I let out a delighted squeal. “Yes! Thank you!”
A smile flickered for a moment on his lips, and then he went back to studly ranger-dude. He walked away, shaking his head, and then he said something like a prayer in Elvish.
I walked over to Boromir and Merry and Pippin, brandishing my sword proudly.
“Will you teach me?” I asked him.
He looked hesitant, considering the fact that Aragorn had actually given me a sharp object.
“But you are a woman.” He said.
I glared at him.
“No crap, Sherlock! You got a problem with that?!” I asked angrily.
His mouth closed, but the surprise still showed in his face. When he turned around, I gave Merry and Pip a wink. They erupted in silent giggles. We almost proceeded to actual hand to hand combat, but then Boromir stopped, turning his face to the sky. Darn, I thought, I remember now! Killer bird time…
Legolas pounced on the rock, announcing to us all in his namby-pamby elvish knowledge “Crebain from Dunland!” I ducked, not wanting any Crebain poop in my hair.
“The passage South is being watched. We must take the pass of Caradhras!”
I swore, running my hand through my hair. I hated the cold.

AUTHOR’S NOTE: Sorry this chapter is so short! I promise, Chapter 5 will be up by February 28, at the latest! It will be a nice fat juicy chapter, no sissy stuff. I have just been VERY preoccupied lately.

“It’s fricking freezing up here Mr. Bigglesworth!!!”
Now, okay, for a Texan I can take more cold than most. I lived in Cleveland for two years. And yes, that is Cleveland, OHIO. Well, that was nothing compared to this. We just HAD to take the passage to Caradhras, didn’t we?
For days, we just walked. Nothing special happened, until Boromir got all crazy and almost took the ring.
So there I was; mumbling about my lack of body heat, occasionally humming a tune or two. Then Frodo slipped. For a second he was frantically looking for the ring. Then everyone saw that Boromir had it. His eyes… glazed over. It was really creepy.
He said his bit, and then I jumped in.
“Hey, it looks like a storm is coming!”
Everyone looked to the black clouds, but Aragorn kept his eyes on Boromir. Boromir handed the ring back to Frodo. Then I saw ranger-dude take his hand off Anduril.
‘Yeah,’ I thought, ‘that’s it, Grease head, don’t even think about it!’
Not that I had anything against him, mind you, but nobody messes with Boromir. He was my favorite Lord of Gondor. And yes, that even includes Aragorn. His brownie points would be a lot higher if he cracked a smile every once in a while. And bathed. Uuugggh, men.
So up and up and up and up until I felt like bloody puking. Plus, my ears were popping. I never thought I would be that happy to be caught in a monstrous blizzard and almost crushed by falling rocks. But –really– if you had to listen to Morwenna chatter about her PERFECT kingdom in her PERFECT world with her PERFECT CRAP, you would be happy too. At least we would be in the warmer (although more musty) Mines of Moria. Yes, I was that desperate.
“Cuiva nwalca Carnirasse; nai yarvaxea rasselya!”
Holy flipping cows on a stick!!! What the heck was that?
“There is a fell voice on the air!” announced Legolas.
Like we didn’t know that, Genius.
And then I remembered. Saruman was trying to commit Fellowship Genocide. That happens a lot to us. Personally, I think they are all after the Mary Sue.
My train of thought went back to reality.
“We will go through the mines!” said Frodo.
Ugh, again with the switching of terrain. I can already feel the shin splits! They truly are trying to kill me…
I apologize SO much for not reviewing lately. This story means a lot to me, don’t get me wrong. There is a mondo exuse- computer virus, family death, ect. that makes one big break from writing. But I am back and ready. Keep reading!
Do you know how, in the movie, Moria was three freaking feet away from the top of Caradhras? WELL IT’S NOT. That was about another two day journey. If I had a personal trainer, he probably would say I am in the best shape of my life. Which isn’t very much. But it’s a start. You would be, too, if you spent a whole bloody month doing nothing but walking.
So, on to Moria!
A dread-rock sat in the pit of my stomach. Don’t act like you don’t know what a dread-rock is. When you know you are in trouble, and you’re waiting to get yelled by your parents; like you brought home a “D” on your report card. Yeah, that’s the feeling. Me, a D? Never, not in my entire life have I gotten anything but an A. Well… okay, but my teacher was a–
“It reads ‘The Doors of Durin-Lord of Moria speak friend and enter,'” announced Gandalf.
‘Darn’ I thought, ‘We’re here!’
The dark lake looked like a sewage plant. And it smelled like sushi. The fishy breeze stirred the water uncomfortably. Oh yes, now I remember. We were all going to be eaten by a big, smelly, and equally ugly kraken. Life sucks sometimes.
Morwenna narrowed her eyes at the nasty lake water and then looked at me devilishly. Was that a smirk? Oh, HELL NO, she did not just smirk at me. Witch is gonna die… if the Watcher doesn’t get me first. Boromir saw my face screwed up in revenge, and then he looked at Morwenna. I could swear, he hates her almost as much as I do!!! Man, I knew I always liked him. I am so going to save him. Spare me the speech.
So we sat down, and I got so bored that I almost told him the answer. But the witch got to it first.
“Ah,” she cried daintily, “It’s a riddle! Now I see it! Mellon!”
I snarled at her under my breath as the stone door swung open, much to the surprise of everyone. Huh, who knew? Mary-sue, actually speaking Elvish? Well, I learn something new every day.
My palms were getting sweaty, and my eyes were shifting. Please don’t laugh at me, I swear, I heard the kraken.
Entering the dank and dusty “tomb”, I sniffed the air disgustedly. It STANK. You would not believe it; the smell was like old crusty dwarves. Oh, yeah. I forgot.
Crap, I missed the dialogue again. Remind me to pay attention.
“This is no mine– it is a tomb!” At those words, we scrambled for the door, but I stopped dead when a big ugly tentacle grabbed Frodo.
My, again and inevitable, reaction was to grab Merry and Pippin. When they are built like third-graders you forget that they aren’t children. But I am sure they appreciated it all the same. Morwenna grabbed her bow and aimed an arrow at the kraken, and missed. If Frodo wasn’t being mauled by an adaptation of “Two Thousand Leagues Under the Sea,” I probably would’ve snickered at her. But, alas, duty calls.
Again, we were rushed into the mines, after the manly and fishy hero scene of Boromir, Gimli, Aragorn, and Legolas. I feel sorry for you. You can’t see these hotties, muscles flexing and wet from the lake. I also feel sorry for me. I have to smell men (elves, dwarves, ect.) who haven’t bathed in weeks. Oh well.
So, we now had to trek the dangerous and dark road through Moria. I now have no doubts that it will, literally, take a freaking year to do it. We’ll see.
Suddenly (well, after about two hours of walking) I spot a glint of pale blue-green in the dark. I look back. There is a midget behind us. At my gaze, the creature scrambles to the deep ditch, hissing quietly as it goes. I let out a high-pitched scream, much to my own embarrassment.
I scream, “Down there! S-something… crawling around.”
Everyone looks to where I point, and Morwenna actually takes a step back. Gandalf addresses us all darkly.
“It was the creature Gollum. He follows us, and listens even now as we speak.”
Aragorn reaches for Anduril, almost giddy at the thought of another fight scene. Gandalf shakes his head.
“He is a creature to be pitied. He has yet a part to play in our journey.”
I look down there again, but can discern nothing in the murky dark. Boromir touches my arm, concerned.
“Are you well, Elaina?” he asks me quietly.
“Oh,” I say, now even more embarrassed. How pathetic. I have seen all three movies and read all three books and still I have a panic attack at the first whiff of Gollum. I blush. Yes… I blush.
I hope this doesn’t turn into a twisted Boromance. Then again… I wouldn’t mind that much.
Hmmm, on with the Journey.
To be continued…
Chapter 6
Well, we are officially lost. Gandoof over there forgot the way. And out there by the lake he boasted that he knows all the tongues and things in middle earth. Except for the way out, of course. We sit here, helpless and inert, just screaming at all the “older and fouler things” to kill us. Like a balrog. Yes, I remember the balrog. I also remember the fiery and painful death that Gandalf must suffer to save us. For once, I feel more sympathetic of him than of myself. I never thought that was possible.
We are sitting, doing nothing, when I realize I am being watched. I look around, to try and catch Gollum. But the only ones staring at me are Gimli, Legolas, and Boromir, and Morwenna. I suddenly notice that my cheeks are hot. All eyes on me.
“Ye–eeeeessss?” I ask in a long drawn-out voice.
They all keep staring.
“What, do I have something on my face, or what?”
“You just were singing, that’s all.” Said Boromir.
“Oh…Well I do have ADD.”
They are so cute when they are confused by my modern (but slightly true) humor.
Legolas wrinkled his hot nose and asked, “What’s that?”
“Well”, I said, “it’s like when you… well I can’t really focus on things that well, and people give me… medicine, if you will, to make me pay attention. Savvy?”
They all nodded, except Morwenna.
“I couldn’t imagine *My Kingdom* being ridden with such a disease.” She said haughtily. “It *better* not be contagious. But, I think, it is fitting that *you* have such a sickness, is it not?”
You know what, in spite of her snobbiness, I was enjoying this. You should’ve seen the Boys’ faces.
Gimli looked like he could put his ax to use, and Boromir looked downright insulted. But Legolas’s reaction was the best.
“TRUE royalty, Miss Morwenna, show compassion to the sick. They don’t shun even those with the basest diseases. And this ‘ADD’ seems to me, not a physical ailment, but a mental one. Therefore it is *not* contagious. You, perhaps, should think on your values– as politeness and compassion are not among them.”
Yes, brother! We must continue to stick it to the man!
The Prince of Mirkwood shrugged her off with a disgusted look, and walked over to talk to Aragorn.
Ha! Take that you foul Mary Sue!
Morwenna conjured her most injured, teary-eyed look. It made her look a little more evil. She let out a huff, gave me a death look, and stormed about ten feet away to cry.
“Mental, that one.” I said to Boromir and Gimli. Gimli chuckled and went to shadow the hobbits. He left me to stare akwardly at Boromir.
Chapter 7
Boromir is hotter than Sean Bean, let me tell you. Not that I have anything against Sean, it’s just… wow. Tolkien really knew what he was writing.
Dark haired, grey eyed–buns of steel, mind you. How is a fangirl *not* supposed to drool? But he also carried a secret obsession with the ONE RING. Somehow, I didn’t mind. Now is my chance, and if I, in any way, act as a Mary Sue, I will bid the world farewell and shoot *myself* in the head.
“Do you still wish for me to teach you to fight?”
Ugggh, I thought. Leave it to men to start a conversation with swords and such.
“Well, I did come to defend the Ring-Bearer. Shouldn’t I be able to… well… *defend* him?”
He looked thoughtfully at Frodo, with no freaky obsession, but true caring.
“Yes” he said firmly. “So I shall teach you.”
I thanked him, and we went back into silence. Finally, he broke the tensions again.
“We must be truthful, my lady, and not keep up pretenses. We all know well enough that you and Lady Morwenna are *not* of Gondor. Am I correct?”
“Nothing gets past you, Sly. You’re right.”
“Well, where are you from, then?”
I decided to tell him. We *are* a fellowship, no matter how crazy we are, and that means no lies. Besides, they already know that I am bananas.
“I come from a place called the United States of America. There, buddy, there is none of this ‘Evil Overlord world domination’ stuff. Just free enterprise, youth affected in every way by the media, and *good ol’ cheeseburgers.*”
Once again, I was launched into another tale of my strange explanations of modern slang. When I was finished, Boromir stood agape.
“So you don’t have a king- but a kind of Messenger of the People?”
“Sort of, but he is called the President. People take votes to bring him to power, and he makes important decisions based on what the people want. Or he is supposed to. Some don’t agree with him–so they elect a new one in four years. Savvy?”
“I think so… How do you live with all of this confusion?”
“I take Aspirins. Some people take Tylenol.”
Confused looks started to annoy me, so I told him to forget it.
“And the lady Morwenna? Where is Lendrenor?”
“I have no earthly idea. She is a mystery as much to me as to you. There is no doubt in my mind, however, that she has some secret past, and one day she will prove to be a big pain in the a**, and when it really matters, too. All I know is, *She. Is. Evil.*”
“Yes,” he said, rather alarmed. “She doesn’t seem like a lady to me. Why do you say she has a ‘secret past’?”
“They always do.”
“So you think she is hiding something?”
“And you?”
I laughed.
“Sir,” I said, “I grew up a *very* sheltered life. No secrets, no dark past. A few normal problems, helped through with family and friends. I never needed to defend my family or myself from enemies like I would here; orcs and evil lords are fantasies in my world. Just a person, looking for my edge–my personality. And I’ve found it. I don’t need more than I have.”
Boromir looked at me like… almost like I wasn’t crazy. Weird, I know.
“It takes a truly unique spirit to be content with all you have. You, I think, are more than what you seem to be.”
I was shocked. Did he use a Mary Sue line on me? Did I like it? Is he starting to look really sexy right now? Will this ring of questions ever end?
To be continued…
Chapter 8-(rated F for Fun Battle Sequence)

I woke to the sound of a crash, then booming sounds. Damn it! Wasn’t someone supposed to be a look-out at night?
Then I realize Pippin is standing next to a gaping hole in the stone floor with a half-guilty, half-terrified look. Everyone gets up from the floor and is immediately awake.
“Fool of a Took!” says Grandpa Greybeard. “Every goblin in Moria knows we are here now!”
Pippin looks utterly crushed, but he doesn’t have time to make everyone else except me feel sorry for him, because Aragorn and Gandalf pull us all into a mad dash for our lives.
My hands are clammy, and I squeeze Boromir’s hand so tightly that my knuckles are white. As we run through the dark passages I nearly trip over a rock.
Wait… not a rock. Just some bones.
I supress a wave of nausea and continue on, but then I remember that this is where it all goes wrong, when we lose Gandalf… and soon after, Boromir. Oh crap. We are so freaking *screwed.*
The tunnel stops. We come to a warped, huge stone door. Legolas and Aragorn pair off to open the huge doors, but are nearly knocked off their feet when Gimli runs toward Balin’s coffin-thingy. Morwenna tries to look sympathetic, but her face just seems uncaring. Our eyes meet, and she sneers while I just glare back at her.
Slowly and cautiously we all enter Balin’s Tomb. Gandalf warily picks up a large book from the hands of a dwarf- one that won’t need that book from now on, since he’s dead and all. It was covered with rust colored spots. Then I realized it was blood.
“Are you well, lady?”
I looked at Aragorn, who finally noticed that I was NOT okay, but I nod anyway.
That seemed to be enough for him, so he went to check on Sam, who had a nasty cut on his foot where he stepped on a sharp rock. I sat down and opened my flask of water.
Oh, I would *kill* for a milkshake! It doesn’t even have to be chocolate! Any flavor!
“They have taken the bridge, and the second hall. We have barred the gates, but cannot hold them for long. The ground shakes. Drums, drums in the deep. We cannot get out. A Shadow moves in the dark. We cannot get out…They are coming.”
Oh holy moly. A deep boom comes from beneath us, then it comes from the door. I hear a wild screeching noise.
Ah, that would be the goblins. Despite my fear, my face flushes and my hand reaches for the sharp sword-knife-thing that Boromir lent me. My first battle. This was going to be fun.
Boromir and Aragorn work to close the doors, and Boromir says in a half-hopeless, half-excited voice “They have a cave troll!”
We all take our positions (well, *they* take their positions, I look very out of place there, standing there gawking and holding my sword with my clammy hands.)
Then it begins.
Legolas takes the first shot, but soon enough the orcs start filing in like giddy school kids.
A little one starts coming my way, and I brandish my dagger menacingly and bare my teeth. Somewhere, I read that it is instinct for them to back away after threatened with teeth. I guess my orc didn’t hear that.
He raises his little scimitar-thing to my dagger, and cuts my hand.
Nasty little bugger.
I bring mine down a bit then slice a thin line across his middle. He only screetches and hacks at me.
These things never go down, do they?
So, with every piece of strength I had learned to use in my AAD class (assault agression defence), I impaled the orc with my dagger. He staggers. He falls.
Yes! Mama’s first orc!
After that I have an easier time. My dagger mysteriously finds it’s way into orc hearts (or, where they *would* be). But a big one up and sliced my right shoulder open. It hurt. A lot. Once or twice Boromir and Gimli had my back, and Morwenna “accidentally” brought her bow back to fast and whacked me in the head. I responded by splattering her with the nearest orc’s blood. “Oops” I said, “I’m so sorry.”
I was beginning to get tired, and it had only been fifteen or twenty minutes. But, mercifully, there was only a couple of them left.
Gandalf took the last one down, then ran over to the column in the corner. So did everyone else. Oh crap.
Frodo was crumpled agaist the column, winded. Aragorn pulled the big spike-thing from him, and he began to breathe again, obviously alive.
“You should be dead! That spear would have skewered a wild boar!”
“I think there is more to this hobbit than meets the eye,” said Gandalf sagely.
Frodo pulled his ripped shirt over to reveal a shimmering, shiny shirt. Morwenna eyed it with envy. I gave her a death look.
“Mithril,” breathed Gimli, “You are full of surprises, Master Baggins!”
Then came more screeches. We are so in deep caca.
Gandalf raised his eyes in alarm, then, in a most urgent voice cried “To the Bridge of Khazad-Dum!”
And again, we run!
To be continued…
Chapter 9
Dear readers,
This chapter deals with real feelings, and I must warn you, Elaina’s humor is pushed aside in this chapter by real emotions, (which always seem to get in the way of comic releif). Please!!!!! I really want your opinions on this! After all, I do write this for all of you . Reviews are needed to tell me what you think of this style–but I’m telling you now that Elaina’s sense of humor doesn’t stay away from her for very long, so please *flinches*, don’t hate me!!! Happy reading… p.s. tell me if in any way she sounds a little too mary- sueish…

The orcs aren’t far behind. I have never run so freaking hard in my life, yet I’m not tired because someone is pulling me along. I looked ahead of me, forgetting my terror for a moment.
It’s Legolas. He is running so fast that it seems his feet never touch the ground. Aragorn has Frodo’s arm, and Sam and Gimli run side by side. Morwenna tries to look heroic and strong by running faster than us but she looks like she could drop at any moment. I wish she would. But, then where would the villain of my story be? Pulling up the rear is Boromir, gripping Merry and Pippin and running faster than I ever could with two hobbits joined at my wrists. In the lead is Gandalf.
They are so close behind us now that I can smell them. Uuuggghhh, orcs stink. But I put that aside in exchange for a different emotion than disgust–insane fear.
I can’t change this! I think to myself. This is going to happen. What am I going to do?! The fear grows in the back of my mind as I think “What if I change something? What if *she* changes something?!”
They are closing in on us, circling around us like birds of prey. I pull out my dagger. Everyone else follows.
Then– they stop.
Screeching, shouting, scrambling ensues. No, not me… the orcs. Something weird looms behind us. A shadow. A balrog.

Okay, okay, no more suspense. Fast forward to the bridge.

“You shall not pass!!!”
Gandalf looks exhausted, yet with strength I didn’t know such an old man could have, slammed his staff into the bridge. It gave way, and he turned, but not before the whip caught his ankle and pulled him down too.
“No!” screamed Frodo. I looked around. For me, well, I knew he’d be back. All, but Morwenna of course (she looked anxious, scared even, but it didn’t seem to me she had any emotional attachment), but everyone looked utterly despairing. He was the leader, the person everyone could count on to protect them. Now he was gone. For them, everything was uncertain. Seeing others lose hope gave me a resolution– to help however I could, even if I was a useless American teenager.
It was almost a reflex for the boys to fight the orcs. But what was weird was they did it with disbeleif on their face, almost like numbness, trying to shun any truth. It wasn’t a time for my levity. I kept silent, letting go of Legolas’ hand and taking Sam’s. He needed someone. Tears were streaming down his face.
We made our way out of the dark mines and into the rocky terrain outside. Aragorn kept going, like if he stopped he would break and no longer be the calm and safe leader he seemed. Legolas came to reality before everyone else. He didn’t cry; elves’ hurts run deeper. You could tell that he knew, though.
Pippin and Merry clutched each other, sobbing. I teared up, not for Gandalf, but for my friends. Frodo had lost a part of himself, and he looked it.
“Get them up,” said Aragorn, trying not to show panic.
Boromir looked pleadingly at him. “Give them a moment for pity’s sake!” he cried.
“By nightfall these hills will be swarming with orcs! We must reach the woods of Lothlorien.” He sounds desperate. “Legolas. Boromir. Gimli. Get them up.” With one last look he turns and starts walking.
“This is real,” my mind said to me, “These aren’t just some characters from a book.”
Reality hit me, hard. This wasn’t just a game anymore. And I couldn’t pretend it was…
Chapter 10: A Shocker…. Not really.
We trudged along, passing the Mirrormere with no ceremony, though I forgot my reality check for a moment looking at the crystal blue waters. I wasn’t the only one, too. Gimli dipped his head in respect, and Merry let out a low whistle, dipping his hands in the cold water and taking a few relished sips.
“Soon, we will reach Lothlorien,” said Aragorn hopefully, “we will find rest in the Golden Woods.”
Morwenna stopped dead in her tracks.
“Lothlorien?” She was genuinly freaked. I was careful not to let anyone see my smile. “No one who ventures near Lothlorien is ever heard from again…” Her voice trailed off into a strangled mutter, like an animal makes when some other beast comes and takes its food, but is too big to face down. But I don’t think it was Lothlorien’s mysterious border that freaked her. She seemed… like she expected us to go another way.
“What is our road?” she asked, “Aren’t we going south, through Rohan?”
“We can’t.” said Aragorn, annoyed that she was questioning him, “Saruman’s spies would find us and we would be exposed to Isengard.”
“Oh,” she said in a false accepting voice, “of course, yes… you’re right.”
But something told me she wasn’t all that content with our plans…
We neared to Lothlorien, and it was fairly uneventful.
Until, of course, we all found out Miss Mary Sue’s dirty little secret.
I was walking along, listening to Pippin talk about the Shire, when I see out of the corner of my eye something white fly from Morwenna’s pack. It is only natural that I bend down to pick it up.
It was a piece of parchment, rolled up and stamped with some sort of wax seal. Curiousity gets the better of me, and I oh so casually look at the symbol on the seal.
Oh. My. God.
It’s a hand, surrounded by black. The hand is white.
“Wait,” I say to Boromir, clutching his shirt from behind. Pippin looks at me. “What is it?” Pip asks.
Boromir turns to look at the letter, confused at first. Then he realizes it, too.
“Spy!” He says as the other members turn to look at us.
“She’s a spy!” I say loudly, enough so that everyone hears… even her.
“Give me that!” she hissed, snatching the message out of my hand. “What are you rambling about?!” asked Morwenna, though I could clearly see her eyes fly in a panic as Aragorn strode over to see what this was about.
“Give it to me,” was all he said (and believe me that scare the crap out of me, too) and she reluctantly handed him the letter. She didn’t waste any time ripping something out of her pack and backing away from all of us. Aragorn finished reading the message and reached for Anduril, eyes blazing.
That sent her into a panic. She took what was a small handful of powder in her hand, looked at me one last time, and screamed, “You’ll pay for that!”
And like that, she was gone in a cloud of purple smoke. Trust a Mary Sue to make a dramatic departure.
“Who would’ve thought?” said Sam breathlessly.
“Me,” I said quietly, “I knew she was trouble.”
Please review…. I live for reviews!!!!
Chapter 11
Our group is, if it is possible, even more down. That is two members we lost in a matter of 24 hours. One of them, we didn’t want to leave us. The other… well, let’s put it this way: Instead of having an enemy close by to where you can watch them, they are now gone, can show up at any time, and know somewhat where you are headed. Talk about a bummer.
That night, we were so close to Lothlorien that Aragorn allowed us to camp, because no enemy went so close to the protection of the Wood. But we were too far from Caras Galadhon to venture on.
I sat down by the fire, while everyone else did, too. There was too much to worry about for anyone to sleep.
Across the fire, a pair of sharp grey eyes rested on my bag. It donned on me.
“Here,” I said quietly, handing my pack over to Aragorn. “It’s alright, go ahead.”
Aragorn hesitated, as if fighting between suspicion and politeness. Everyone was looking now, and I could feel my face flushing.
“Listen,” I said, “It’s good to be…careful.” I had to be extra cautious choosing my words. “If it makes you feel better, go ahead. I have nothing to hide.” I dropped my bag and slowly turned, walking away.
“Where are you going?” asked Merry.
“For a walk.”
It’s so weird, that I didn’t see it before. I have been traveling with these people for weeks, and they don’t know anything about me. Everyone has an understanding, if not a friendship, with each other. They were all doing something that made the biggest impact on each of their lives, and the lives of the people they love. So they understand one another.
Me– I’m on a joyride, a vacation like some sort of weird reality TV show that wasn’t planned. The only thing in it for me is to say, “Hey, I was there.”
I feel so out of place, almost… alone.
“Hey,” came a voice softly behind me. I jumped, swiveling around to face the Prince of Mirkwood.
“Could you *not* do that, please?” I asked. “You damn elves are so quiet! No wonder you guys kicked Melkor’s butt.”
A faint smirk, then back to his usual stoicalness.
“And you mortals wear your emotions on your sleeves.” He said gravely.
I sat back down. “There’s no argueing that,” I muttered.
He sat down next to me, and for a minute or two we just rested there, taking in the beauty of the forest. Faintly, I could hear water rushing as a little stream, and the birds chirped cheerily.
“You’re lonely,” he said suddenly. It wasn’t a question.
I focused my gaze intently on my hands picking at the stitching on my tunic.
“I forgot to say that you elves are also pretty perceptive.” I said finally.
“Yes,” I whispered. “I am.”
He breathed in deeply, as if starting again.
“You don’t have to be.” Was all he said, and I was forced to look at him. He didn’t look uncomfortable, or akward, like I felt. Only thoughtful… even understanding.
“We are all in this together,” he said gently, “And I think it is much easier when we are all at ease… friends… with each other. Don’t you think so?”
I didn’t need to think about it. It was what I wanted most in the world.
“Yes,” I said, smiling at him.
“Then we are, what you call, ‘buds’?” he asked, with a hint of sarcasm (but nonetheless seriously). I laughed. Leave it to a completely reserved and solitary elf to be the first friend of a weird human girl.
“Yes. Buds.”
The trees shuddered in an almost tense way, the silence unbearable.
Okay, whose idea was it to go to Lothlorien? This place is creeping me out.
That morning we had all left to file into the woods (me, I might add, on a slightly better note than before). When I came back the night before, I found my bag, still sitting by the fire, untouched. I looked at Aragorn, who seemed completely confident in his choice to trust me. Something told me Legolas had talked to him. The elf gave me a slight smile.
But soon, I was back to being anxious. You can’t help it when you think of facing the most powerful being in middle earth besides Sauron himself. And Gimli talking smack about her didn’t help, either.
“Stay close, young hobbits,” he hissed, “they say a sorceress lives in these woods…an elf-witch…of terrible power. All who look upon her…fall under her spell.”
Frodo hesitated for a moment, and for a moment I heard a faint voice whispering in my ear.
Okay. I am officially creeped out.
“And are never seen again.” He finishes. He straightened up, putting on a careless face and gripping his axe proudly.
“Here’s one dwarf she won’t ensnare so easily,” he boasted. “I have the eyes of a hawk and the ears of a fox.”
‘Sure you do’, I thought as an arrow was pointed directly into my face.
Hahaha…cliffhanger. Keep reading to find out what happens. P.s. more to come VERY soon, as I have gotten very good ideas for oncoming chapters.
Note: I am sorry to say to all you Legolas lovers that this is NOT a legomance. *sigh*. He and Elaina NEVER hook up. Sorry. However, I did not say there won’t be any romance at all….. πŸ˜‰
p.p.s. it is SOOO nice when I get reviews…. so, if you please… thank you!

Chapter 12
Having an arrow pointed at you point blank by the deadliest archers in middle earth isn’t very fun. Especially when they think you are a danger to their beloved forest.
“The dwarf breathed so loud we could have shot him in the dark,” said the blond guy disdainfully.
Ah, this must be Haldir.
(Haldir of Lorien, we come here for your help. We need your protection.)
“Aragorn,” said Gimli, taken aback, “these woods are perilous. We should go back!”
Not a chance, shorty. Try to leave and you’d sprout feathers from your brain in 2 seconds flat.
Haldir thought along the same lines. “You have entered the realm of the Lady of the Wood. You cannot go back.”
All paused, then they slowly lowered their arrows.
“Come… She is waiting.”
Tolkien really knew how to put it– Lothlorien, I mean. It was gorgeous; the bark on the tree wasn’t black, or brown. It was *silver*. The leaves weren’t green, or even your run-of-the-mill autumn colors. They were *gold*. Each tree was so vibrant, so almost *alive*. Honestly, it’s hard for anyone to stun me into silence, but I’m telling you it happened.
So we climbed the silver stars, to the big treehouse thing in the biggest tree I’ve ever seen. No wonder elves are so graceful. They have to be if they climb that many stairs every day.
In a moment of intensity a blinding white light appeared at the top of the stairs. It was them.
“Eight there are here yet nine there were set out from Rivendell,” said the not-sounding-like-he-just-did-crack Celeborn. (Seriously, what was PJ thinking?) “Tell me where is Gandalf? For I much desire to speak with him.”
I finally looked at the lady. She was no Cate Blanchett.
Not that I have anything against Cate…on the contrary, I thought she delivered. But this lady… she was almost something else entirely.
I won’t say she looked youthful. She didn’t– she looked so old I could almost compare her to the giant tree we were standing in. But she didn’t look ‘warped’ by age, if it makes sense. The only allusions to her age were her eyes– like deep pools of blue-grey that held memories both wonderful and awful. Her pale face was framed by long golden hair, and she was robed in shimmering white that hurt my eyes with its brightness.
She began to speak with strong voice, firmer than you’d imagine hearing from this angelic-looking elf. But it was still smooth to hear.
“…he has fallen into shadow.” She said softly, as though she’d seen it herself.
Then, I heard something quite different. Somehow I guessed that no one else could hear it. The voice was so close, like a thought in my head. How could anyone else hear?
‘This journey was not meant for you.’ Said Galadriel to me in my head. Her tone wasn’t accusing– in fact, she sounded almost amused. ‘But fate sees fit to bring you nonetheless.’
Then I made a mistake. To think, with someone else in my head.
‘You wish it didn’t?’ she asked in reply to my open thoughts, ‘Nothing is chance, VinyaquΓ©n*. Choices are made for a balance, be it for good…or ill.’
Then which is it? I asked myself.
‘That,’ she said somberly, ‘I do not know.’
We were welcomed with the site of – yes- REAL COUCHES TO SLEEP ON.
I let out a small cry of surprise, then in a snap rushed to flop onto the one where my stuff was set. The hobbits followed suit, hugging the pillows like old friends they hadn’t seen in years.
“Where have you been all my life?” I asked the pillow I was snuggling, letting out a breath of comfort.
“Really,” said Boromir exasperatedly, “Only women and hobbits act like life on the road is the most horrible kind there is.” Despite what he said, he flashed a grin.
“And leave it to men, elves, and dwarves to be the last to admit that they prefer a nice warm bed over the cold hard ground. What, do you guys think it tarnishes your toughness, to like to feel comfortable once in a while?” I asked, throwing a smirk over back at him.
“Nay,” said Legolas, flopping (gracefully, I might add) onto his. “Only men and dwarves.”
“Excuse me, Master Elf,” said Gimli. “I believe you mean, *men* only.” He put his axe down and pushed his way onto the couch with difficulty, finally getting up and chuckling gruffly. “Dwarves are a hardy breed, but home is where the heart lies.”
Aragorn smiled for the first time in days.
“You are all wrong,” he said, taking all the weapons from his belt, and settling down on his. “It is only some men.”
“I believe,” I said innocently, “You are outnnumbered, Lord Boromir.”
“Very well,” he replied, “Then I am forced to concede.”
“Well that’s a first,” said Pippin loudly, leaving everyone laughing.
Lothlorien is really beautiful in the dead of night. It’s weird, because you think it would be dark in a forest, but there is so much light here. The stars are– brighter, almost. Like they are when you go out to the country, away from all the buzz of the city. It’s wonderful.
There are footsteps behind me, and I know because this time I hear them. Human steps, I mean.
It’s Boromir. He comes to sit next to me. His face is tense, and I would swear on my life that there was something scaring him.
“Tell me about your family,” he said, turning to face me.
“Why?” I ask.
He made a distinct movement, setting his eyes firmly ahead as though shutting some emotion out. “Because I don’t want to think about mine,” he said with a hint of bitterness in his voice.
I paused, thinking of what I should say about my family.
“I live with my dad,” I began. “But I was going to move out before autumn to go to school. I don’t have any siblings. Don’t you have a brother?”
“Yes,” he said, “What about your mother?”
“She left us when I was ten.”
“She died?”
“No. She just left and never came back.”
“Why would she do that?”
I had spent all of my childhood asking that very question, and I still couldn’t figure it out. As far as I knew, she just didn’t care enough to stay.
“I don’t know,” I said hesitantly. “I guess she didn’t like the life she had with my dad and me.”
“That’s awful.” Boromir murmured.
“It mattered when I was younger. It hurt. But I made the decision a while ago that if she didn’t care about me then I wouldn’t care about her.”
“Sometimes the people that love you can’t show it. Deep inside, they care the world for you and never choose to say it.” His eyes glinted for a moment, but no tears fell. I knew who he was thinking of, and it made me hurt so much I wanted to cry. What would it be like to grow up the favorite, watching the brother or sister you love be hurt by the parent you love? It was a double-edged knife, to be torn between two people who you care for. He was in the middle.
I sat there for a moment, just thinking of what to do. And then I said to myself, ‘There is nothing you *can* do. It’s not your place. So don’t get in the middle and screw things up.’ Sometimes my mind is really hard on me. Your’s would be too if you were like me.
“Listen,” I said to him, my voice bouncing back to cheery, “You promised to teach me to fight, and I haven’t learned one damn thing! If I don’t learn how to disembowel an orc in the next 24 hours I am holding your word false.”
“That, I cannot allow,” he said, grinning again. “Though I must say I find your zeal for life absolutely irritating. Do you ever get tired of being the one who makes all the jokes?”
“Nope,” I said, “It never gets old.”
And it never did.
*Vinyaquen- “Young One”
Hey yall… I have come to a big decision. This is going in the direction of a Boromance. I realize some may think this will ruin the plot of the story (or even come way too close to being a mary sue). The truth is, how could someone meet such incredible people and not fall in love?! Some of Tolkien’s characters were very cheated in that area. So I am changing that. If you don’t agree, that’s tough. I am the all-powerful author (muahahahahahah!) and I intend to make this the way I think it would have gone if Elaina was there. I promise that romance will NOT conflict with Elaina, because however much you change when you fall in love, you are still yourself. Love isn’t perfect. But that doesn’t mean you can’t be happy either.
-Hopefully still your favorite author, Andie. (No, you don’t have to call me Ardaneth! πŸ˜‰
P.S. I have been planning ahead for the next few chapters so they should be up in no time!
Chapter 13

Wow. It really sucks to wake up to the sound of hobbits eating. And I am being completely serious when I say normal people DO NOT EAT LIKE THAT. Smacking, chewing, and talking with their mouths full. It was insane.
My eyes cracked open.
“What time is it?” I asked, more loudly than I expected.
Merry amazingly took his face off his plate for a second, giving a muffled reply.
“What? Sorry, I couldn’t hear you. I was distracted by the enormously large amount of food being destroyed inside your mouth.”
Pippin snorted, and Merry gave an indifferent shrug.
“It’s high noon.” Came a haughty voice from behind me. I turned to face a blonde elf with a half-sneering, half-amused look on his face.
“Hello, Haldir.”
“I am not a messenger,” began Haldir, smirking, “but when the Lord Boromir told me why he was waiting on the training grounds I knew it would be a worthy cause. I could not pass up the chance to see this.”
“Did he pay you to come here and mock me,” I asked sweetly, “or do you just like the sight of a person falling flat on their face?”
“I think a little of both.”
“Well then,” I said, getting up and yawning. “I won’t keep you waiting. Since your being such a good messenger would you please tell Boromir I’ll be there in a minute?”
“I suppose.” I didn’t know how anyone could be so arrogant and sarcastic at the same time.
Sam stared curiously at me. “What are you doing on the training grounds?”
“Embarrassing myself by trying to learn to fight.” I grumbled as I slipped my boots on.
He and Haldir were talking, Boromir standing with a wooden sword in each of his hands. Hal was casually leaning against a tree, haughty expression resumed. When I strolled up, Hal smirked and practically skipped over to the side to watch.
“You’re very encouraging, you know.” I shouted after him.
“And so are we.”
I spun around to face an elf, a dwarf, and four hobbits. Oh great. More fans in the peanut gallery.
“Encouraging, huh? I hope someone here knows how to staunch a wound, because I have a feeling I’m not leaving here in one piece.”
“I give her three minutes,” said Haldir gleefully.
“Nonsense,” said Gimli. “The lass can hold her own.”
“Fifteen minutes then?” asked Frodo. More sniggering from the peanut gallery.
“Laugh it up,” I added, “Go ahead. You’re gonna wish I was at your back sometime or another.”
“Not if we don’t begin anytime soon,” stated Boromir, waving the wooden training sword impatiently. “I have been waiting here all morning.”
I grumbled. It was time to get down to business.
Two hours, one gash, and three bruises later I had made a little bit of improvement. I was tired, hungry, and aching. But I was glowing with pride. This time Boromir attacked I had ducked, blocked, and made an offensive move.
“You’ve got to move a little quicker,” added Gimli. For the whole time, my “fans” had been putting in a little here and there.
We tried again. This time, block, sidestep, block, and attack. I whacked Boromir in his arm, catching him off guard.
“YES!” I yelled, throwing down my sword in victory. He gave a yelp of pain, dropping his.
I heard clapping from behind me.
I turned, sweeping into a dramatic bow.
“Once,” said Boromir stubbornly, still clutching his shoulder, “An orc won’t stop after you hit it in the arm.”
I stuck my tongue out. “Don’t be sore about it. I’m celebrating my improvement. I mean, it’s not every day you get to hit the son of the Steward of Gondor without consequences.”
“Did I imply there would be no consequences?”
“What are you going to do about it?”
He straightened up, shaking his hurt away and reaching down for his training sword. Bringing his weapon into an unmistakably challenging position, he said shortly, “A duel.”
“To the death?” I asked, picking mine off the ground.
He nodded, grinning.
“I accept.”
In less than thirty seconds I was lying on my back, with a newly formed bruise on my side. Boromir gallantly stood over me, offering his hand.
“I thought it was to the death?”
He rolled his eyes, grabbing my arm and pulling me up.
“You can’t be a good warrior if you can’t show mercy. But I wasn’t scheduled to cover that until tomorrow.”
“I’ll be sure to take notes on that,” I said, rubbing my side where he hit me.
“I believe it’s time for luncheon,” said Merry.
“I agree. I’m starving.” And I was. I could eat an oliphaunt. Not that there was any tramping around Lothlorien.
One month. We had been in Lothlorien for nearly one month. From the day we got there, January 16, to this exact day February 15, we had all felt the safety and protection of the Golden Woods. For one month, I had been training with Gondor’s finest. Which, I may say, is something. No, I’m not bragging. Shut up.
Of course, our time here wasn’t perfect, to say the least. Frodo still felt the burden of the ring. Aragorn still had doubts on his destiny. Boromir still struggled with himself. No matter what kind of distraction I could offer, he would always be affected. Being near Galadriel helped, but our time was running out. We would leave tomorrow, on February 16. Each day was more and more tight, more tense. Everyone dreaded leaving this place, where time nearly stopped.
We had seen Galadriel very few times, even though she sometimes dined with us, Celeborn at her side. I had a feeling she saw more of us then we did of her.
I sat in my now favorite spot, which I had found on the fourth day after we came. It was a little shaded grove, but little spots of sunlight streamed down through the gold leaves. It was so quiet there. It was my own little place.
I thought about what I had been doing this past month. My respect had certainly grown for these people I had come to know even better. It’s different when you are staying in one place with your friends, rather than traveling. You get to see them as they act every day, normal…even happy. Then I thought about my other friend. You know. Six foot, dark haired, handsome guy. Don’t make me say it. Every time I say his name I get a little flustered. Believe me; you would too, if you knew him. But exactly how well did I know him? Spending each day by his side, learning from him and listening to him and joking around and even being serious about some things. That’s how well I knew him. And I liked what I saw. But how much? And why in the heck did I want to run in the other direction and at the same time just be around him every time I saw him?
“You’re going to be late.”
I jumped, but not nearly as wildly as I would have a month earlier. When you’re in Lothlorien, there’s so many bloody elves there that you have to remember they are everywhere… even if you can’t hear or see them.
“When was the last time I asked you not to do that, Legolas?”
“Three hours ago.” He replied flatly.
“So you DO remember.”
He hastily avoided the accusation, pulling me to my feet and half dragging me back to the city.
“You are going to make me late, too, if you don’t stop scrambling to hold onto every tree we pass.”
“I don’t want to go to the feast,” I whined. “I want to crawl into my bed and sleep until next year.”
“Hush, Elaina! You are expected to be there with us, too.”
“I don’t know why I do,” I snapped back, “I’m going to be miserable.”
“Why do you say that?”
“You know why! I don’t want to leave here any more than you do!”
Legolas glanced severely at me, still pulling me along.
“You mortals are such children.”
“It isn’t my fault. I was born that way.”
“If you don’t go then you deprive Marchwarden Haldir of a dance partner!” He shot me a scathing smile.
“Okay,” I said, planting my boots in the ground, “Now I’m DEFINITELY not going!”
That stupid elf was laughing at me.
“Finally!” shouted Frodo as he saw Legolas and me approaching. “I was afraid you weren’t coming!”
“I wouldn’t miss it for the world.” My teeth gritted and I glared daggers at the elf. He only whistled and shifted his gaze to the other side of the room.
We were at a large square hall inside one of the trees, but instead of the usual silver shine of bark, everything shimmered and sparkled like diamonds. It kind of hurt my eyes. Obviously elves knew how to decorate for a party. The boys were all mingling with the Galadhrim, while elf minstrels and dancers made us mortals look like Neanderthals. At the front of the room sat Galadriel and Celeborn, seated in thrones of gold and as beautiful and ethereal as ever. Are you jealous yet? Good.
Pippin caught sight of me, waving and bounding over to Frodo and me.
“Well well well, don’t we look handsome tonight?” I said to Pip. He seemed to be wearing a big blue cloak decked with shiny silver threads. Frodo snorted with laughter as Pippin threw back his cloak, in an odd parody of Haldir. Uh-oh…it looks like he saw that one.
Before he could stroll over by us I quickly waved bye to the hobbits and fled into the crowd of elves, looking for Boromir. If anyone would hate dancing more than me, it would be him.
I found him, over by Aragorn and someone who looked like Haldir. I think his name was Rumil. I jogged over to him, trying desperately to avoid Haldir’s hawk eyes that were scanning the hall for any sign of me. I tapped Boromir on the shoulder. He turned around.
My eyes widened as I caught sight of him. This person couldn’t be him.
This Boromir was freshly shaven, clean (which is a plus when you are looking at a hard-bit warrior macho man) and decked out in Lothlorien’s best. There was a huge smile on his face, and for the first time in a long time I had seen his eyes light up with genuine fun. I stood there gaping like an idiot.
Aragorn sniggered at me, and Rumil had an all-too-familiar smirk on his face.
“What,” asked Boromir, putting his hands on his hips, “You were expecting Gollum?”
I snapped out of it.
“My, my, what a change of clothes can do to a man’s ego.” I exclaimed. Two can play at this game.
He narrowed his eyes at me and simpered. Looking out on across the hall he held out his hand.
“Would you care to dance?”
Not him! If anyone here would mope on the sidelines with me it would be him!
“I don’t know how.” I grumbled.
“You are a slow learner, but you’ll get it,” he said shortly, pulling me into the center of the room. God, just kill me!
My pulse shot like a bullet as he put one hand in mine, the other lightly around my waist. The music was playing, and I could feel the heat rush to my face. I said something very obscene under my breath.
Gimli was chuckling at me, while Legolas gave me a wink. I glowered at him. We were spinning, me occasionally trampling all over his feet and stumbling like the klutz that I was. He laughed it off, guiding me patiently until the song ended.
“Don’t ever make me do that again,” I muttered, all but running back to the corner. He raised his eyebrows, smirking but looking a bit disappointed as he took the hand of another. “Your loss,” he yelled after me.
Haldir was waiting for me. No doubt to gloat.
I walked over, crossing my arms. “Don’t say *anything*.”
Author’s note:
*Awkward silence.* Um, hey guys. This chapter was a bit of a challenge for me. I really tried to make it as un-Mary-Sue as possible. Tell me if it is otherwise… and I sat there thinking for hours, and it was driving me crazy that I couldn’t think of a way to make the time lapse work! So finally, I thought that it would be good if you could hear about it the way Elaina saw it. I can’t decide whether I like it or not. You’ll let me know, won’t you ;)?
Anyway, it is crucial to review this chapter, since it will determine the style of the rest of the story. Romance yes or no? Satisfactory? Did it leave you with a big grin on your face thinking of them going “AAAAWW!!!” or did it make you puke up your meal? I had fun writing it, anyway.
As always your greatest fan, Andie. I will love you like I love cake if you review… and that’s saying something.
Chapter 14

There was no need to wake any of us–everyone was up by dawn. It was a kind of silent hell, all of us just sitting there waiting until we had to leave. I had never felt anything like it… and I don’t want to again.
I was tired. The feast had lasted long into the night, and I always was a bit of a party girl. Heck, I thought, I might as well enjoy it now–there’s nothing you can do to stay here. If I had asked, I would bet my life that they would have let me stay without thinking any less of me. I wasn’t a coward. I was born a lot of things: annoying, clumsy, and occasionally rude. But I wasn’t about to say I was a coward. So I would go, even if it meant I would never know about my future.
When everything was packed, we all silently hiked to the river, where Galadriel, Celeborn, and the rest of our friends would say goodbye, and where they (we?) would receive their (our?) gifts.
It was clear, sunny, and beautiful. I hated it. Of all the rotten days in middle earth, this would be the worst.
We all stood together so that she could speak to us.
“It is with deepest sorrow that you here depart from the Wood,” she began, her voice as smooth as glass, “But hear now that all those who toil do not strive in vain, nor alone. Should you ever need it, help and hope shall come from the Lord and Lady of Lothlorien. *Nai i Valar nauvar as elyΓ«!”
I have to get Legolas or Aragorn to teach me Elvish.
As the Lady came to each of us to give her gifts, I tried to clear my mind. There were way too many thoughts in there for someone like her to be in it.
She glided over to me, and I could feel my heart skip a beat. Even around her, there was an overpowering sense of majesty. It was like being trapped in World Leader’s Convention, where everywhere you turn you see royalty. I don’t know how Celeborn did it.
“Peace, Vinyaquen.” She said smiling. Obviously she picked up on my anxiousness. I took a deep breath. She pulled something from her white robe, something that shimmered in the sunlight.
It was a gorgeous small dagger, with silver runes engraved in the blade. The hilt was silvery, studded with shiny stones and detailed etchings.
I was caught there, gaping like an idiot.
“Lord Aragorn told me you were in need of a blade. I should think this is fitting?”
“Yes,” I said, stumbling over my reply and breathlessly taking it. It was cool, and felt so right in my hands. How do elves have so much magic? We mortals are such cavemen!
“No,” she said softly, “Mortals acquire such skill in amazingly short time. That is a wonder.”
Oops. I forgot she could read my mind.
“Thank you so much,” I said, with real gratitude. “This is exactly what I needed!”
“That is not all,” she said. Suddenly there was a mysterious smile on her face. I was confused.
“You have a question, I believe, that you did not wish to ask.” She said, looking me straight in the eyes. Now I was even more confused.
“How old are you, child?”
“I will be nineteen in the summer.”
She suddenly directed her gaze over to Boromir. Now I knew what question she was going to answer.
“He is twenty-four.” Her voice still held a little bit of mischief that I didn’t understand. I couldn’t help getting a little bit excited as she said that. Was he that supposed to be that young? He’s not that much older than me! Wait– why did she feel the need to tell me that?…
I *knew* she heard me say all that in my mind. She didn’t answer; she only stood there smiling that “I-know-something-you-don’t” smile.
“Patience.” She said simply.
I could feel the weight on my chest get heavier as our boats left Silverlode for the Anduin. We passed in silence, and it was very uneventful until we reached the Argonath. I craned my neck up so I could see the faces, but they were so tall that as we passed the farthest up I could see was the belts. I was sitting in the boat with Boromir and Merry, and as I turned to look at Boromir he smiled slightly. Obviously this was a big thing for a man of Gondor, to see your ancestors and what not. We continued on downriver to the lake.
The pressure on my chest was now at a high. It felt like a giant hand, squeezing each breath out of me. ‘I will not panic’ I said, over and over, ‘I will not panic!’
We docked. I guess I had been noticeably more nervous, because before I knew it there was a hand on my shoulder, and Aragorn looked me straight in the face.
“What is wrong?” he asked firmly. I struggled over my words, and tried to speak, but only a weird strangled noise came from my throat. Damn you and your incoherency! Were you going to change things or not???!!!!
“Nothing,” is what I settled on. Nothing. That’s what I said. Sometimes I hate myself.
He looked at me in disbelief, but didn’t say anymore. I sat down on a log, staring into space and falling into a glazed over calm. Things were so messed up!
“Where’s Frodo?” asked Merry.
Damn it!
Aragorn had walked off, looking for Frodo and Boromir. I sat there, nearly hyperventilating beside Gimli. Legolas walked over to me, alarmed.
“What is it?” he asked, over and over. I wouldn’t say anything. I couldn’t. It was as if my actions were completely out of my control, and I could only sit there in a daze thinking about what might or would happen.
“Tell me!” he said, more urgently than before. “What’s wrong?”
I looked up at them, an elf and a dwarf. Where were Merry and Pippin? My muscles were frozen in place. Then, a cool voice in the back of my mind spoke to me, almost pushing me into action.
‘Do something,’ the voice said, ‘It isn’t too late.’
I got up, pulling the magnificent dagger from its sheath, saying simply, “Uruks.”
We were ready even before we heard the horn. I sprinted down the hill, not caring whether I stumbled or fell. If I told my legs to stop running I would still be bolting as fast as I could. There was no room for fear. In fact, there was no emotion at all. All I could feel was the blade in my hand and my feet tearing through Parth Galen.
They were near now. The Uruks, big black and ugly looming near my friends. I searched for that one, the one with the big black bow. I found him, trekking the hill and preparing to launch the arrow. I ignored the yell of Legolas as I rounded on Lurtz. It was now–or never.
He was stunned when he felt the impact of me tackling him. God, but it hurt my head. He swung around to face me, bearing his teeth and raising his scimitar. I ducked, bringing the dagger up to slice his wrist. He didn’t even wince.
I was tripped and kicked, but I rolled to the left and kicked his legs as hard as I could, hearing a momentary growl from the Uruk. Nothing was a blur anymore. I could see the trees around me and everything was back to normal.
‘Remember what Boromir taught you!’ I said to myself, trying to think of the attack tactics. Let your enemy tire themselves out. Well, that wasn’t going to happen. What next?
Go for speed. When the enemy is distracted by all of the movements, then you strike. So that is what I did.
Block, left, duck, attack, right, block and attack! And I succeeded in gashing his side. But something told me he wasn’t going down that easily. I swiveled around him, slamming the dagger in his back as he grabbed my arm and wrenched me clear over his head. I crumbled to the ground, black dots swirling in front of my eyes. Crawling back up, I felt a sharp pain in my wrist. He once again raised his sword, but I rolled over to my right and got back up. I could feel something warm and wet on the back of my head. I reached around to touch it. My fingers were red.
He was moving slower now. Still going, but injured. This was my advantage. In a burst of strength I didn’t know I had, I slammed my blade in his chest, ripping it out then backing away as he slumped to the ground with a thud.
More were coming, and for a moment I thought I could see a flash of blonde hair in the distance.
“Get the girl!” one of them hissed.
Pain exploded in the back of my head, and I slipped into unconsciousness.
I hope you enjoyed this chapter! Please leave a review!
*May the Valar be with you!

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