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Summary: In the spring of 2012, four American children find themselves thrust into an unfamiliar 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.
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 Tolkien's 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: We would also like to acknowledge the invaluable help of our beta, Linda Hoyland, another well-known and prolific LotR fanwriter, whose many wonderful stories also grace this site.
Chapter 64: The Right Side
Legolas and Gimli raced over to the scene where they had spotted their friends’ legs. Gimli's heart was racing in fear. That was a mighty troll, and he could not imagine how it had been felled. Legolas, with his long legs, had reached the fallen troll more quickly. He was prone upon the ground, trying to see, as he spoke to one of the injured Guardsmen who sat there—as Gimli neared, he could see that one of them was Beregond. "We tried to lift the beast," Beregond was saying, his hand pressed to the side of his head, which was bleeding, "but all of us are wounded and weak."
Legolas had immediately gone to the ground and began pushing at the troll in vain. Gimli looked around and, seeing the troll's club to one side, grabbed hold of the end of it and dragged it over. It was awkward, but he managed to turn it around and began to push the blunt end of the club under the troll's mid-section to the right of where Kevin and Pippin's legs were.
Legolas looked over at what he was doing. "Clever, Gimli! Just be careful of our friends."
As Gimli pushed, the gap widened, and Legolas crawled closer. Gimli stopped pushing when the gap was as wide as he could make it, and then he, too, flung himself to the ground. As Legolas pulled Kevin clear, Gimli began to gather Pippin up and pull him forth.
Kevin began to gasp and cough. "Pippin?" he whispered.
"We have him," said Legolas. Kevin sighed and closed his eyes. Legolas gave Gimli a look.
Gimli shook his head, tears gathering in his eyes. "Alas," he said quietly, lest Kevin hear him, "I fear we have lost him…"
Legolas leaned over and placed his ear to the hobbit's chest. After a moment, he lifted his head and smiled. "Nay, friend Dwarf, he yet lives. But it is a near thing. He is very weak."
The three Guardsmen grinned. "Thank you!" said Beregond. "We tried our best, but we could never have brought them out soon enough."
Legolas and Gimli looked at the three. One of them appeared to only have a dislocated shoulder. Gimli gestured at him. "You are the least wounded. Can you bear for me to put your shoulder back?"
"I am Adrahil, Lord Dwarf, and yes, I will bear what I must." Adrahil placed his good arm firmly against the immense body of the troll, and with a heave and a horrid pop, Gimli put the other shoulder back in the socket. Adrahil yelled, and then took a deep breath, and slowly and carefully moved his arm. "Sore, my lord, but useful once more."
Legolas had quietly gathered Pippin up in his arms. "I am going to rush him to Aragorn, Gimli."
"Yes, go—go swiftly, Legolas!"
Legolas did not hesitate, but raced off with his precious burden. Gimli turned back to the Guardsmen. "Adrahil, you are now mostly hale. Please go to see if you can find any who can come back here to help bring Kevin, Beregond and…" Gimli paused to look at the third Guardsman, who appeared to be still in a light swoon.
"My brother, Artamir," Adrahil replied to the unspoken question. "And yes, I will go as quickly as I can, to bring succour."
Gimli then looked back at Beregond. The blood was still running down the side of his face, and between his fingers and down his arm. Gimli knew that head wounds bled profusely. He searched within his pouch and found the handkerchief that Bilbo had sent their company for Yule, by way of Merry. He had yet to use it, and it was mostly still pristine. He took his waterskin from his belt and went over to move Beregond's hand and pour water over the injury to rinse away the blood. The gash was not deep, but there was already some bruising around it. When it was running mostly clear, he bound Beregond's head with the handkerchief.
Gimli chuckled. "I shall have to tell old Bilbo that his gift was very useful," he said aloud. "And you need to stay awake, Beregond, unlike our companions, who have already succumbed to swooning."
Beregond glanced at the other Guardsmen who was still unconscious, and then at the Dwarf, knowing he was right. "Who is Bilbo?"
"Why, he is kin to Pippin, and to the other hobbits who came along on our journey, and a mighty adventurer in his own right. My own father has told me of Bilbo's journey with the company of Thorin Oakenshield to retake Erebor…"
Gimli treated Beregond to an abbreviated account of the Quest of Erebor. When Gimli finished, he glanced over to Kevin. "And how did Kevin and Pippin come to fell this big beast over there?"
"'Twas Pippin, truly.” Beregond shook his head in wonder. “I never knew he could fight so fiercely. He was racing through the Orcs slashing at their legs and heels with that sharp blade of his, while Kevin, Adrahil, Artamir, and I ran after him, finishing off those he felled. When the troll came, it scooped up Artamir, and likely would have slain him had Pippin not gone behind and sliced through the backs of its legs." He shook his head again. “He saved Artamir’s life, Gimli. Kevin tried at the last minute to move him out of the way, but the troll fell on them both before he could do that.”
Gimli nodded; he recalled one day speaking with the younger hobbits, along with Boromir and Aragorn, about the best way for someone smaller to fight a foe much larger. He was more than pleased to know that their lessons had been taken to heart. He glanced up and saw several men coming their way at a trot. "Here is our rescue party," Gimli said, as he stood up and brushed himself off.
Gail wished that someone else was here with her to watch over Steve. She knew that momentous things were going on at the Lady's Mirror, and she so yearned to be there with her daughters—to hold them and comfort them, if need be. But Steve could not be left alone, and the pavilion had begun to grow so dark that she had needed to light the little lamps there. She was glad that Kaylee and Megan were with Lady Galadriel and Mairen and Lassiel. At least they could comfort the little girls in her stead.
She bowed her head and took a deep breath. Please, God, she silently prayed, and then stopped, not knowing what to say. Please, God—please, God…
Just then, Steve awakened. He blinked. "Uh, Gail? Why is it so dark? Did I sleep through the day?"
Gail smoothed his forehead and gave him the cup with his medicine for him to sip. "No, it's just a dark and gloomy day, sweetheart."
"What's wrong? I can tell you are upset; where are the girls?"
"They are with Mairen and Lassiel and Lady Galadriel; remember I told you that, last night." He continued to look at her with a knowing expression, and she knew he'd guessed she hadn't told him everything. She sighed. "Today is the day, Steve. Today will be the day that everything ends, and either the Light wins or the Darkness does."
Reaching up to touch his wife’s cheek, Steve gave her a comforting smile. "Not everything, Gail; you know the Darkness won't win forever." He took another sip out of his cup.
"I know, but...I wish at least we could all be together." In spite of her efforts, a tear trickled down her cheek. Steve put his cup down and reached up to brush the tear away with his thumb.
"Even the darkness is not dark to You, And the night is as bright as the day Darkness and light are alike to You,"* he quoted. Biting her lower lip, Gail nodded.
They sat for a moment, holding hands, and then in a shaky voice that gradually grew stronger, Gail began to sing:
“There’s a light that is shining in darkness
While we wait for the dawning of day,
And it cheers us along on our journey
Till the shadows shall vanish away!
“So, we’ll wait and watch for the dawning,
The day of eternity blest,
Then take the wings of the morning,
And fly away to our rest…"
Gail sang softly, and soon Steve had once more fallen asleep.
The clearing where the Fountain and the Mirror stood had grown dim and dark, but for the presence of the Lord and Lady, and of Glorfindel, who glowed beneath the unnatural dusk.
Megan had quietly moved as close as she could to the shiny Lady. She felt safe by her. She glanced up at the Lady's face. She looks sad, Megan thought, furrowing her brow and chewing her lower lip. Jesus, please make her feel better.
She glanced down at the Mirror to see what had made the Lady sad, and she saw two hobbits. They looked tired and hot. The light around them looked fiery. Megan gave a gasp as one of them went over to a place that looked like a cliff or something. The hobbit was angry. He held something up, and she gave a gasp of surprise as the hobbit disappeared. Then suddenly out of nowhere, an ugly little monster came, and then seemed to jump up in the air. The hobbit came back just as quickly as he had vanished, and he had a hurt hand. The little monster was jumping up and down and yelling something while holding a shiny ring above its head, and it stepped backwards and fell over the cliff. She gasped. But before Megan could see any more, the Lady's arm came down around her and held her face against her white dress.
How long they stood that way, Megan did not know.
The sky had dimmed, and the air felt heavy; still, the Lady's gaze into the Mirror did not waver. Yet there was nothing to grab hold of events flying by in a blur, past and present, some things that might never be. She caught a brief glimpse of Frodo disappearing into a crack in the side of the mountain, and of Aragorn in the midst of battle, and of her grandsons also fighting fiercely.
And then she did not see it—she felt it. In wonder, she lifted the hand that bore Nenya high, and she laughed. "Free! Free at last!" Lady Galadriel turned with joy to embrace her husband. "Nenya is free, my husband!"
Megan blinked, and then she realized that the little water-mirror still had a scene in it. The Lady was talking to Lord Kelly-born and Glorfindel and Radagast now. She leaned forward on her tiptoes to see better and was surprised to see her family back in their living room at home. They were eating popcorn and watching something on TV, but before she could say anything, it changed again—there was her family in a fancy place, maybe a castle. And they were wearing fancy clothes. There was her mommy and daddy and Kaylee and Jennifer and Joey and Kevin and her, but she looked a lot older, and—she laughed and waved. "Hi, Kevin! Hi, Jen! Hi, Joey! You're growner!" She started to lean over to watch more closely and was pulled away.
"You must not touch the water, Megan!" the Lady said sharply.
Megan turned. "Did you see? Did you see?" She grinned and jumped up and down.
The Lady bent down and kissed her forehead. She gave a small smile and said, "I did see, I certainly did. This is a very good day."
As the Eagle's song ended, Joey began to cheer even louder. “Frodo did it! Frodo and Sam did it! They did it!" he squealed, over and over again, turning to hug his sister. "They beat the old Bad Guy, Jennifer! They did it!”
“They sure did!” Jennifer hugged him back. "Frodo and Sam! Frodo and Sam!" she shouted. Suddenly, she held her arms out, jumped, and yelled, "Give me an F!"
Joey only looked surprised for an instant, and then he responded, "F!"
"Give me an R!"
"R!" yelled Joey. The people around them looked puzzled, but the children's yells were infectious.
"Give me an O!"
This time Bergil and their other friends joined in: "O!"
"Give me a D!"
"D!" Now even more people were yelling along, even though they did not know what it meant.
"Give me another O!"
"O!" Now half the street joined in.
"What does it spell?"
"Frodo!" shouted Joey.
What does it spell?"
Now everyone joined in: "Frodo!"
After everyone had yelled "Frodo" several times, Jennifer jumped and shouted: "Give me an S!"
Give me an A!"
"Give me an M!"
"What does it spell?"
"What does it spell?"
By now hundreds of people were joining in with the strange chant.
"FRODO! SAM!" Jennifer yelled.
"FRODO! SAM!" repeated the crowd.
Atop the Citadel, Merry was the first to hear the sound. Was he hearing what he thought he was?
"What are they shouting?" asked Faramir.
Merry laughed and joined in as well: "FRODO! SAM!
And then the other two also began to join in: "FRODO! SAM!"
And tears of joy were running down the faces of all three. There was much yet to be done, but Sauron was gone, thanks to Frodo and Sam.
A/N: The Bible verse is Psalm 139:12, and the hymn is found in https://hymnary.org/, no author listed.
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