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An Unexpected Adventure  by KathyG

Summary: In the spring of 2012, four American children find themselves thrust into an unfamiliar fantasy world and part of an unexpected adventure.  This story is AU, and blends Lord of the Rings book-verse and movie-verse.  This story also contains a lot of spiritual and religious content as a part of the AU elements.  (Co-written by KathyG and Dreamflower.)

Disclaimer: The world of Middle-earth and all its peoples belong to the estate of J.R.R. Tolkien; the three films of The Lord of the Rings belongs to New Line Cinema and to Peter Jackson.  This story is not for profit, but is a gift for the enjoyment of those who read it. 

Citations: In most chapters, there will be some quotations directly from both the books and/or the movies.  Quotations from the books are in italics, and quotations from the movies are underlined.  Occasional quotations from other sources as well as silent dialogue, words spoken in emphasis, and passages from the Bible will also be in italics, and those citations will be footnoted at the end of each chapter in which they occur.  We will also footnote research sources and credit the ideas of other people. 

Thanks: To our beta, Linda Hoyland, who has been of great help with this story.  Linda is a well-known and respected writer in the LotR fandom, who also posts on this site.

Chapter 22: I've Got A Dream

Bilbo was taking the air on one of the many benches placed at various points in the gardens of Rivendell.  He was enjoying a pipe and listening to the birds singing, leaning back on the bench with his eyes closed, contemplating a nap, when he felt a small body joining him upon the bench.  He knew at once who it was, and smiled, opening his eyes and turning to look at Kaylee.

Kaylee wiggled.  “Let’s play, Mr. Baggins!”

Bilbo’s eyes twinkled.  “And what shall we play, Miss Kaylee?”

Kaylee bounced on the bench.  “Let’s pretend you don’t know who I am.  Ask me my name!”  With a broad grin on her face, she whirled around, turning her back toward him and folding her legs up, and covered her face with her hands.  Bilbo laughed.

“All right.”  He leaned forward and gazed at Kaylee.  “Well, well.  Let me see.  Hmm.  What is your name, little one?”

“Guess!”  Kaylee giggled.

Bilbo furrowed his eyebrows in mock puzzlement.  “Who is this little girl sitting on this bench beside me?  What is her name?”  He paused.  “Could her name be—Esmeralda?”

“Nope.”  Kaylee giggled again.

Bilbo put a finger to his chin, as he pretended to think.  “Is her name Ruby or Pearl?”  Kaylee shook her head.


“Nope!”  Kaylee giggled yet again.


“Uh-uh.”  Kaylee shook her head.


“Nope.”  Kaylee wiggled and bounced.

“What about Lily?  Daisy?  Marigold?  Posy?”

“Uh-uh.”  Kaylee giggled once again, as she continued to keep her face covered, her legs folded up, and her back toward Bilbo.

“Hmm.”  Bilbo leaned back in his chair, holding his pipe in his lap, and pretended to think again.  “Well, well, this is a hard one.  This little girl doesn’t seem to have any of the names I can come up with.”  He leaned toward Kaylee.  “Could she be—no, this can’t be—could her name be—Kaylee?!”

“Yes!”  Bouncing again, Kaylee pivoted toward him and grinned broadly.

Bilbo laughed.  “I thought so!”  Giggling, Kaylee crawled toward the old hobbit and hugged him.  Laying his pipe on the bench, Bilbo chuckled and hugged her back.

Just then they were interrupted by Lady Arwen and Eledwhen coming up the path.  "Ah, there you are, Miss Kaylee," said Arwen.  "Are you ready to go down to the stables again for your riding lesson?"  Kaylee had been taking lessons for the past month and a half now, and she had grown quite fond of Bilbo's old pony.

"Yes, Lady Arwen!"  She grinned and jumped up, and reached into the little pouch which hung upon her belt, serving as her pocket, and pulled out an apple.  "See?  I have a treat for Merrylegs!"

Bilbo smiled.  "Perhaps I will come along with you; I have not seen my old friend in a while.  I am sure that he is enjoying your company, Miss Kaylee."

Kaylee smiled broadly.  "I have fun with Merrylegs, and Curubor says I am becoming a good little rider!"

"Is that so?" asked Bilbo.  "I am sure that Merrylegs is happy to have a rider once more."

Lady Arwen took one of her hands and Eledwhen took the other, and Kaylee skipped cheerfully along as they headed down the paths to the stables, Bilbo trailing behind them at a more leisurely pace.  The head groom, Curubor, who also had the duty of riding master, smiled to see them coming.  "Ah, little miss!  Are you ready for another lesson?"

Kaylee nodded enthusiastically.  Soon enough, after Kaylee had fed Merrylegs her apple, the Elf had her mounted upon Bilbo's gentle old pony.  She needed no saddle; Curubor took the reins and walked Kaylee at a gentle pace around the paddock.

They had made several circuits, and Curubor was allowing Kaylee to take the reins for a little while, when half a dozen riders approached, accompanied by Lord Glorfindel.  But the other riders were not Elves, but Men.  Kaylee pulled the reins to stop Merrylegs the way Curubor had taught her.  Merrylegs obligingly did so, and Kaylee felt quite proud of herself, but she was curious as to who the Men might be.  They were all dusty and sweaty, like they had been riding a long time; they were also dressed like Lord Aragorn dressed.

Lady Arwen turned to greet them.  "Halbarad!  Well met!  Welcome to Imladris."

One of the riders dismounted.  "Well met, indeed, my Lady Arwen."  He bowed over her hand.  "We thought to bring news here of the doings to the West, and consult with our Chieftain and perhaps with your brothers."

"Alas, your cousin has already left the Valley, on a journey with Gandalf and several others.  But Elladan and Elrohir have returned from their own journey."

The Man nodded, but said no more, as he knew that Master Elrond would tell him any further news if he needed it.  He turned his glance to the paddock, where Bilbo Baggins's old pony stood placidly as Curubo helped his small rider to dismount.  He was surprised to see it was a young maid-child.  He grinned.  "Who have we here?" he asked jovially.  "Is that some fair princess from a far-off land?"

Kaylee giggled.  "I'm not a real princess, but sometimes I play I’m one!"  Halbarad and Arwen laughed softly.

Arwen beckoned Kaylee to come closer.  "Halbarad, may I present Miss Kaylee McCloud?"

Kaylee dropped a little curtsey as Lady Arwen had taught her.  "Kaylee McCloud at your service and your family's."  She cast a look up at the Lady, to see if she had done it right.  Lady Arwen gave her an approving smile and a nod.

With a warm smile, the man gave her a bow in return.  "Halbarad, son of Nethon, at your service, Miss Kaylee!"

"Halbarad is Lord Aragorn's cousin," Arwen told the little girl.  She turned to the Ranger.  "Miss Kaylee is a visitor to Imladris; her older brothers and sister have accompanied your kinsman and his other companions on an urgent journey to the South."

Halbarad looked startled at this news, but nodded.  "Very well.  I shall take my news to your father and brothers, then, in my Chieftain's stead.  We will be staying a few days, to resupply and take fresh mounts, before we look for Aragorn.  I will see you both later, then."  He inclined his head toward Kaylee and then toward Arwen, after which he turned and left them.

Kaylee watched him walk away.  “I like him," she said, smiling.

Arwen smiled back.  “I like him, too, Miss Kaylee,” she said.  “Come along, let us return to your riding lesson.”  Kaylee skipped toward Merrylegs, followed by Arwen, and remounted the pony.

Halbarad stayed in Rivendell for a couple of days, and Kaylee got to talk to him several times during his visit.  She liked him.  He looked a lot like his cousin, Lord Aragorn.  He didn't seem to smile much, thought Kaylee, but when he talked to her, he smiled, and she liked his smile. He told her stories of his work as a Ranger and his times with Aragorn.  He said she reminded him of his granddaughter, whose name was Oriel.  Kaylee didn't think he looked old enough to be a grandpa, but he said he was older than he looked. 

On the last afternoon before he left, he came to tell Lady Arwen farewell.  They were in her sunroom, all of them working on their needlework, the lady and all her maidens and Kaylee.

He sat down to talk to Lady Arwen.  "Soon we shall receive word to join our Lord, but it is not yet time, your father says."

Arwen shook her head.  "No, it is not.  Yet when that time comes, you must come to me before you leave.  I will have a gift for you to take to him when you go."  She indicated the huge black cloth she had been embroidering with silver thread and jewels.  She had been in the process of embroidering a beautiful tree, and she was almost finished.  Kaylee had been quite curious about it, but had not known it was to be a gift for Lord Aragorn.  But Halbarad gave a solemn nod, just as though he knew all about it.

He glanced at Kaylee, who was stitching away, her needle moving in and out quite easily compared to when she had first started.  "You are becoming quite an accomplished young needlewoman, Miss Kaylee.  Young Oriel is not nearly so neat in her stitches as you."

“Thank you.”  Kaylee blushed at his compliment.  "Well, Lady Arwen is a really good teacher."

Halbarad grinned and nodded.  "That must be it, of course.  She certainly is, and you have worked very hard, I see."  He rose to leave and turned to Arwen.  "I shall take my farewell of you now.  Your father has said we will get word when it is time for us to go South.  I will see you again before we leave."

He gave a brief bow, and left the room.

Kaylee was quiet and thoughtful after he left, and after a few minutes, Lady Arwen asked her, "What is on your mind, child?"

"Halbarad said he liked my sewing," she answered.  "Do you…do you think he’d like it if I made a present for him?"

"I think he would like that very much, dear," the lady replied.  She rose to her feet to fetch the materials that Kaylee would need.  If the little girl was going to make Halbarad’s gift, she would have to begin immediately, and work quickly so that she would have it finished before he and his men left the next morning.  And Arwen would have to work just as quickly to finish her own gift for Aragorn before Halbarad and his men left to go find his kinsman.  


That evening, during the Hall of Fire, Kaylee climbed into Halbarad’s lap.  She had finished his gift just a short while before, and had left it in her bedroom.  “Well, Miss Kaylee, this is my last night here,” Halbarad told her.  “My men and I must leave in the morning and look for Aragorn.”  He kissed her forehead.  “Perhaps I will also find your brothers and sister when I find him.  Do you have a message you want me to give them?”

Kaylee thought for a moment, her thumb in her mouth.  At last, dropping her hand, she said, “Tell them I miss them lots.”  She paused, and added, “And give them lots of hugs and kisses for me!”  She covered her mouth with both hands and then, smacking her lips, threw them out in front of her, spreading her arms out.  Grinning, the little girl added, “And tell them I’m trying to be very good.”  She bounced.  “And tell them, don’t worry about me!”

Laughing, Halbarad mussed her hair.  “If I find them, I will give them your messages,” he told Kaylee.  He exchanged an amused look with Arwen and Elrond, who sat nearby.

A half-hour later, Mairen came to fetch Kaylee to her bed.  She found the child still perched on Halbarad's knee, by then nearly asleep.  The Elf-maiden roused her.

"Miss Kaylee, dear, it is time for you to go to bed now."

Kaylee blinked.  "Now?"

"Yes, little one."

Kaylee rubbed her eyes and looked up at Halbarad.  "Good night, Halbarad.  Will I see you at breakfast?"  She yawned.

"No, my little lady.  My men and I will be leaving at first light.  I must say farewell to you now."  He embraced her lightly and left a little kiss on top of her head.  "I am glad I got to know you, Kaylee.”

She nodded, already half-asleep again as she was passed into Mairen's capable arms.  “Good night, Kaylee,” Elrond told her.  “We will see you in the morning.”

“Yes, we will,” Arwen agreed.  “Good night, Kaylee.”

“Night,” Kaylee said, yawning, her eyes sliding shut again.  She did not rouse as she was carried to her room, but as Mairen was trying to put her into her nightgown, she woke more fully.  There on her nightstand was Halbarad's present!

She looked up at her nursemaid. "I have to wake up before the Dúnadain leave!" she said urgently.  “I have a present for Halbarad.”

Mairen kissed her forehead.  “Very well, Miss Kaylee, I shall wake you before he leaves, then.”  Kaylee smiled her thanks.

The next morning came early, and true to her word, Mairen was there to wake her.

Kaylee was at first resistant to waking up.  "It's still dark out, Mairen!"

"They will leave soon," Mairen told her.  "My Lady has already gone to the paddock to farewell her brothers, and Lord Halbarad is with them."

At that news, Kaylee quickly allowed Mairen to dress her.  She grabbed the little present from her nightstand and raced from the room and down the stairs to the outside.

Out on the lawn, Kaylee ran as fast as she could.  She just had to get there before the Dúnadain left; she just had to!  She could see them now, mounted on their big horses.  But Halbarad and Arwen's big brothers were still standing there, talking to Arwen.  She was nearly there when she stumbled, and she cried out as she hit the ground—she had tripped over a small dip in the ground, and her knee was scraped.  But she got herself up and began to run again.  In the past, she would have sobbed loudly until someone had treated her knee and comforted her, but now she ignored the pain in her knee and the sudden wet blurriness stinging her eyes, and kept running.

Arwen and the others had stopped their conversation at the sound of Kaylee's outcry, and ran to her.  They reached her quickly, and Arwen scooped her up.  Kaylee's eyes were leaking tears, and she brushed them away with her hands.  "Kaylee, child, what in the world are you doing up so early?" Arwen asked.

“Him!”  Kaylee pointed at Halbarad.  "Halbarad!  You were going to leave without saying 'bye’!"  Kaylee turned her face to the Ranger with a look of hurt and accusation.

"But I farewelled you last night, little one, ere you went to bed," he replied.

"That doesn't count!  You weren't really leaving then.  And I didn't have a chance to give you your present!"   Kaylee reached into the little purse that hung upon her belt and drew out the pouch she had made for Halbarad.

He took it with a gracious smile.  "You honor me, Miss Kaylee.  Thank you."  He looked at it.  It had been made out of a scrap of the same fabric from which Arwen had made the standard she had just given him to carry to Aragorn, and it was carefully embroidered with an eight-pointed star in silver thread.  He could feel something hard within, and he drew out a stone.  It was tan and brown, and was nearly flat and rather oval in shape, about two inches in diameter.  It was an attractive pebble.  "Is this a special stone?" he asked the little girl.

"Yes, Halbarad!"  She nodded earnestly.  "I found it just before we came from our country, when we were going to the cave.  So it's kind of like a part of my home."

"Well, then, I shall always keep it close by me."  He lifted the long cord of the drawstring over his head and hung it round his neck.  "See, it hangs down over my heart, dear."  He took Kaylee's hand and kissed the back of it.  "But I must go now."  He patted her head.

Arwen carried Kaylee the rest of the way to where the horses waited.  She said a word of farewell to her brothers, and then they and Halbarad moved to the front of the company of Rangers.  Halbarad raised a hand and said, "Forward!" and they all rode away at a trot.  Even though none of them looked back, Kaylee waved until she could no longer see them.

"Now," said the Lady Arwen, "we shall go see if my father can fix up that scraped knee for you."

Kaylee burrowed her head into Arwen's shoulder.  "Yes, milady," she said, as she so often heard the Elves say to Arwen.  Arwen set her on the ground, and together, they both walked back in the dawn mist towards the Last Homely House, with Arwen holding Kaylee’s hand.  


Jennifer had been sleeping soundly in the Company's pavilion when she woke abruptly from one of those extraordinary dreams: she had seen her parents and Megan in Rivendell, with Kaylee, a half-grown Lucy, Master Elrond, and Lady Arwen!  How odd, she thought.  It had been quite vivid.  She lay there blinking, when she overheard Frodo and Sam talking softly.  She couldn't hear what they were saying, but there was a movement at the entrance to the pavilion.  The Lady Galadriel was there.  She gestured to Frodo and Sam and spoke softly to them.  They got up to follow the Elven lady.  Jennifer watched, tempted to get up and follow them herself.  But as she was trying to decide, Lady Galadriel turned her head and looked straight at Jennifer, and gave a mysterious smile, while shaking her head ‘no’.

Jennifer stayed where she was, but she was more curious than ever.  She could not go back to sleep, and so she tried to recall all the details of her dream before they slipped away.  I wish they were here, she thought.  I miss Mom and Daddy.  Megan, too.  She bit her lower lip.  I also miss Kaylee.  And Lucy.  At least they’re safe in Rivendell.  I wonder how much Lucy has grown since we left?  I’m sure she’s not teething anymore.

She was not sure how much time had passed, but after a while, Sam and Frodo returned and went back to their bedrolls.  Lady Galadriel returned and, smiling once more at Jennifer, she beckoned her to rise and follow.  Scrambling to her feet, the young girl did as she was told.  What’s happening? she silently wondered.  What’s going on?

‘Follow me, and you shall find out,’ Galadriel’s amused voice sounded in her head.  A startled Jennifer jolted.  She was not used to that!

Jennifer silently followed the Lady.  She had what seemed like a million questions about where they were going and what the Lady Galadriel wanted, but somehow it did not seem the right time to ask them.  Jennifer realized they were nearing Caras Galadhon, but they did not ascend the slope of the Hill.  Instead the two of them went around to the southern side, where the end of their way led to a huge hedge.  An archway of living green allowed them access.  For the first time since entering Lothlórien, Jennifer suddenly realized that she was not beneath a canopy of trees, and she could see the night sky unobstructed.  They went down a long stone stairway, which grew more and more shallow until it became a pathway.  A babbling stream ran alongside from the Hill above.  At the end of the pathway was a pedestal that looked like the trunk of a tree.  A silver basin stood upon it, and beside it a silver pitcher.

Moving gracefully, the Lady took the pitcher and filled it with water from the stream.  She filled the basin with the water and bent to breathe over it.  Jennifer thought it seemed that there was a glowing mist for a second, but then she wasn't sure—perhaps it had been her imagination?  But now the Lady spoke for the first time since summoning Jennifer.  "Here is the Mirror of Galadriel,” she said.  “I have brought you here so that you may look in it, if you will."

"What will I see?" Jennifer asked, almost whispering.

“Even the wisest cannot tell.  For the mirror shows many things: things that were…things that are…and some things that have not yet come to pass,” was the Lady's mysterious answer.  Jennifer swallowed a gulp.  That sounded ominous!

Reluctantly, she went to the pedestal and bent her face to see within.  At first all she could see was the sky and the night stars above.  How odd, she thought, I don't even see my own face reflected.  But then the water briefly went grey, and then became as clear as could be.  There was the scene from her dream.  It was clearly Rivendell, and there were her parents with Kaylee, Lucy, and Megan, as well as Master Elrond and Lady Arwen!  They appeared to be talking seriously.  Where are Uncle Ryan and Aunt Janet? she silently wondered.  Aren’t they here, too?

Then the mirror changed.  She could see orcs—they were running away, carrying Merry, Pippin, and—and Joey!  But before she could even cry out in alarm, it changed again, and there was a huge white city that looked like something from a fairy tale.  And then she saw—Gandalf?  She couldn’t tell.  He was all dressed in white, and he was riding a white horse.

Then she saw her parents, Kaylee, Megan, and Lucy again—they were riding in boats on a big river with some Elves.  I hope that Kaylee and Megan are okay!  They can't swim.  But Mom and Dad are with them.  But someone here really needs to invent life jackets!  Suddenly, Jennifer saw a huge mountain belching fire, and somehow, she knew it was Mount Doom!  It was belching out lava and fire, which seemed to be coming right at her!  With a yelp, she leaped back, startled, and the spell was broken.

Most of what she had seen, she could not understand, but one thing was pretty obvious.  She looked at the Lady in wonder.  "Our parents and Megan are coming to Middle-earth, too, aren't they?"

Galadriel nodded.  "While much is still open to interpretation, it does appear that the rest of your family will come.  But do not place too much hope in it, for there is no way of telling when they will be here, or when you may be reunited with them.  Much will befall before that happens!"  The Lady bent to look Jennifer in the eyes.  "I know that it will be tempting to talk about this to your brothers, but the Mirror is a chancy thing.  You should not give false hope to them."

Jennifer nodded.  She knew that the Lady Galadriel was right, but it would be a hard secret to keep.  Still, she would have to try.  And if she was understanding the Mirror correctly, their parents and Megan would come, but their aunt and uncle would not.  Guess they’re gonna stay back at home, she thought, but why are Mom and Dad back at the park after all this time, and why are they going to the cave?  And bringing Megan?  Did they go back to the park to try to find us, or what?  She shook her head in confusion.  It’s been a few months now since we entered that caveMom and Dad must have gone back to look for us again!  What’s happening?  She bit her lower lip.

"And Joey?" she asked fearfully.  "Shouldn’t he be warned about the orcs?"

"Can you tell him when it will happen, or how?  And how to avoid it?"

Jennifer shook her head.  "No."

"Then all you would be doing is worrying him overmuch about something that may or may not happen.  Remember, trying to avoid something may actually bring it about.  The Mirror is dangerous as a guide of deeds."  The Lady put a comforting arm around her.  "You know Whom to trust, my dear.  Hold fast to the knowledge that all will be well in the end, whatever that end may be.  And now, my child, I will guide you back to your bed.  You need your rest."

Jennifer nodded.  “Yes, ma’am.”  She shook her head.  “You know, Lady Galadriel, it’s so weird.  Before we came to Middle-earth, I never had a prophetic dream, and since coming here, I’ve had two!”  She swallowed.  “I dreamed about our parents and Megan coming here before I woke up tonight.”

Galadriel nodded.  “And what was your first dream?”

Jennifer bit her lower lip.  “I dreamed it while we were in Rivendell.  In fact, Kevin and I both did.”  She described her dream to Galadriel, and then explained what Kevin had told her about his own dream the next morning.  She added, “Of course, we didn’t know about the Ring or the upcoming Quest at the time.”

“And why do you think that you and Kevin had that dream?” Galadriel asked her.

Jennifer halted.  For a long moment, she thought back over that time.  “I had done some praying when I went to bed,” she finally said.  “I asked God to tell us why He had sent us here.  He…He sent me—us—that dream when we fell asleep.”

"The ways of the One are mysterious," the Lady said, "but I think that you are correct."

Jennifer smiled.  “Hey, that’s what the Bible says!  ‘The Lord moves in mysterious way, His wonders to perform.’

Galadriel smiled and nodded.  "I have heard you and your brothers speak of your Holy Book.  It is a very wise book."

Jennifer nodded back.  “It should be.  It’s the Word of God.”

They walked back to the pavilion in silence.    


Jennifer lay on her cot, unable to get back to sleep.  She just couldn’t stop thinking about it either.  Their parents and Megan were actually coming to Middle-earth!  That meant that if all went well, it would only be a matter of time until she, Kevin, Joey, and Kaylee were reunited with them.  And surely, when it was all over, they would all be going back to their own world.  After Galadriel had left her at the pavilion, Jennifer had sought the Lord’s guidance in prayer, asking Him if she could tell her brothers that their parents and Megan were coming to Middle-earth.  She had felt an immediate check in her spirit telling her that the answer was no, and that she should follow the advice of Lady Galadriel, after all.  She kept hearing how wise the Elf was, and to keep her secrets within her heart.

Actually, she thought, Kaylee will be reunited with them before the rest of us are.  She smiled broadly.  That’ll make her so happy!  She’s really missed Mom and Daddy ever since we entered Middle-earth.

For a long moment, Jennifer furrowed her eyebrows and bit her lower lip, as she tried to make sense of the whole thing.  It had been quite some time since they had entered Middle-earth, so how could their parents and Megan still be at the campsite?  Unless they really did decide to go back to the park to help look for us, and ended up entering that cave, she thought ruefully.

Sighing, she turned on her side and closed her eyes.  She had to try to go back to sleep.  They were scheduled to leave Lothlórien in the morning.  Please, God, she silently prayed, protect Joey!  And Merry and Pippin.  Please protect us all!  In Jesus’ name, amen.  She shifted position.  Joey and Kevin need haircuts before we leave.  I’d better get out my scissors when I get up.

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