All the days over the next few months (it was the beginning of December before we finally left) flowed into each other. It felt like barely a week really. Aragorn had left with Elrondís sons so I couldnít talk to him. I couldnít even look at his sword. I did get to talk to Legolas, Gimli and Boromir some.
The majority of our time was spent preparing for the journey however. We would steal a cloak here, grab some rope there (I knew Sam forgot it, so I wanted to take some just to bug him), and we pilfered some blankets and spare clothes while we were at it.
While hardly a day went past when we didnít hide a new object under our beds, that isnít all we did. Actually we didnít really have much time for this important task. Stacey followed us around everywhere (when she couldnít find Legolas, and after the first week he took to hiding at the very mention of her name so she usually couldnít find him), and it was always fun pulling pranks with Merry and Pippin. And then of course there was the armory. Thatís my favorite place. Elrond thought it would be dangerous to cut me off entirely, so he let me go in every other day.
Katy and I (and Stacey) also convinced some elves to teach us to use a bow. I was the best, but thatís not saying a lot. After every lesson some poor elf would walk away with a killer migraine (though theyíd never admit it because Ďelves donít get sickí).
Once there was only a couple of days left we started sneaking food from the kitchen. Non-perishable items of course. Like jerky and bread! Elfish bread stays good for a long time and youíve got to wonder what kind of preservatives they put in that stuffÖ
Finally the day came. Actually it was at night. It was a bit cold out, even nippy to Minnesotaís standards. Katy and I said goodbye to the company in the grand hall along with everyone else so as not to raise any suspicion. After saying goodbye however, unlike everyone else, we went immediately back to my room. We had packed two bags the day before and repacked them after finding that we tipped over every time we tried to stand up.
We threw on our jackets and helped each other get our packs on. Then we helped each other get our packs back off remembering something else. We ran down the hallways to the armory (no one was about as they were still saying goodbye to Frodo and the others). We found it immediately, we knew our way around pretty well now and finding the armory was as easy as finding the refrigerator at home.
We slowed down to and stopped shy of running into one of the walls lined with weapons as we came into the room. I grabbed a particularly large sword leaning against the wall that I had had my eye on all week. That is to say I tried to grab it. I soon realized that to my dismay I couldnít even lift the blade off the ground.
I sadly looked around, I would have to settle for something else, "Hurry up, would you?" Katy told me as she had just found a sword that was just light enough for her to carry. I looked around the room frantically and soon laid my eyes upon a beautiful sword (another one) and found to my delight that I could handle this one.
Katy and I ran back to my room holding our swords protectively inside our jackets so no one would see them. We quickly tied the swords to our belts and helped each other with our packs again. Finally we were ready to set off.
We ran breathlessly outside, only to find the Fellowship had already left. We made our way sneakily through the shadows out of Rivendell the way we had come. To our delight when we reached the top we could see the Fellowship. We crept after them hoping not to be noticed.
It went very well for the first ten minutes. We hadnít been caught and we were enjoying walking under the light of the moon. Of course then the fog set in, the cold wind blew through our coats, and we were getting annoyed at not being able to talk because Mr. Elf-ears had to come along and would hear us.
It isnít that I really have a lot against Legolas, but he makes being sneaky challenging. Once and a while heíd turn around sending us flying to the ground and we were sure heíd seen us, but if he did he never said anything.
This went on for days and they were probably the worst days of my life. The Fellowship up and walked all night, the only good thing being they slept late into the morning, and they hardly stopped to rest.
We were growing closer to the mountains, and the air grew even colder (though I still wasnít too cold, after all Iím a true blue Minnesotan, and I have to actually look blue before Iíll admit Iím cold). We complained quietly to each other and wished more than once to be home.
Finally we were on the foothills of the Misty Mountains, in the land called Hollin if you want to know. The whole Fellowship was up on the top of the hill, and we were sitting at its foot.
We were minding our own business, eating some meat and bread, and didnít notice a figure at the top of the hill looking down at us shaking his head in disbelief. Soon however, our peaceful morning meal was interrupted by two very rude people. An elf and a ranger.
"What are you doing here?" Aragorn asked as he and Legolas pulled us to our feet.
"UmÖ Is this a trick question?" I asked him. It should be quite obvious, especially for a ranger.
"You have been following us all the way from Rivendell?" Legolas asked in disbelief.
"If we say yes will you leave us alone?" Katy asked.
"You barely made it through the journey to Rivendell with me and the hobbits yet you made it all the way here with no help at all?" Aragorn asked astonished.
"MaybeÖ" I said, I didnít want him to get the idea that we were tough and didnít need to ride on Bill.
Aragorn and Legolas led us up the hill to where the rest of the company were waiting to see what their friends had found. When they appeared with me and Katy in tow everyone was wide-eyed (and open-mouthed in most cases), and Gandalf sighed, muttering something to Elbereth.
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