Katy, Stacey, and I were all sitting in the dining hall eating a late dinner. The few elves that were still eating this late kept on giving us strange looks. We weren’t sure why, after all what was strange about seeing one maiden with a black eye and several other bruises, another with several cuts and a bruised cheek and a third, unhurt sitting between them?
Katy had finally convinced the two of us to stop fighting and get something to eat, however that was only after we were both panting in exhaustion. We glared at each other between bites.
And this is how Merry, Pippin and Sam found us. All the other elves were carefully sitting as far away as they could, but the three hobbits bravely walked up and sat across from us, although I think Sam would have been fine sitting with the elves instead.
"Are you three here for a late snack too?" Pippin asked, "I thought men didn’t know of these meals."
"This is our dinner." I replied, glaring at Stacey. Pippin looked over at my companion to see her glaring back.
"Some of us did manage to have dinner at a reasonable hour." Stacey pointed out, picking at the little food she had taken but continued glaring my way.
"I take it you two had a falling out?" Pippin questioned again, receiving an elbow in the ribs from his ever caring cousin, Merry.
"I don’t know about Stacey, but I’m in a fine mood." I said sharply.
"As am I." Stacey said and we both turned our attention back to our foods.
These blatant lies were followed by an awkward silence. The rest of the meal continued in silence, me and Stacey glaring at each other on and off but returning our attention immediately to our plates if anyone other than our target noticed it.
We made our way back to the pavilion where we slept, also silent. The hobbits wisely ignored us as Stacey and I frequently tried to casually trip each other, or even ‘accidentally’ run into each other or push each other closer to the edge of the talons.
We received numerous strange looks when we reached our destination as well from those few of the Fellowship yet awake.
"What happened to you?" Boromir asked.
"Nothing, we’re fine. Why do you ask?" I replied.
Boromir laughed, "Well it’s only that you look as if you’ve been attacked by orcs!" He exclaimed, Aragorn and Legolas chuckling a little as well.
At this Stacey and I exploded, shouting out our side of the story which ended in yet more physical violence. Aragorn and Boromir quickly took to separating us. After a few seconds of struggling I realized it was useless to fight against the Ranger and calmed down only to notice that Stacey had come to this conclusion before I.
We glared at each other. Aragorn said something to Legolas in elvish which I was too upset to try to translate and the elf nodded in agreement. Aragorn escorted me to one side of the pavilion while his elf conspirator assured that Stacey remained near the entrance.
That night I decided to sleep with Katy. However, I found this to be too uncomfortable and put the sword with Aragorn’s things where it would be safest.
We only held our grudge for part of the next day as neither of us could remember what it was about and only thought it must be important since we had fought so much over it. We had eventually given up because trying to ignore each other’s presence and go out of our way to trip, punch, or harm the other person just proved to be too much work.
The rest of our stay in Lothlorien was rather uneventful. It consisted partially of Archery lessons, causing many headaches to elves who seemed to want to teach us anyway because they would not admit that there was anyone they could not teach to use the bow…
Stacey, Katy and I were in a long clearing with targets at the opposite end. Two elven warriors were standing on either side of our threesome, each of us had bows, not professional but not training either, and a quiver full of arrows, the warriors also had many more arrows with them.
"Daro, we will start from here." One of the elves commanded, Veela was his name.
We gaped at him, "Shoot? From here? At those targets?" We asked, making sure we had heard right.
The elf nodded, "That is correct, elflings your age would usually be farther back, but since you have less experience you may start here." He confirmed.
We gaped at him some more.
"Would you stop doing that?" He asked, "It’s unnerving."
We stopped and fumbled for our arrows. Only 30 seconds later we each had an arrow on our bow and were trying vainly to stretch our strings far enough to hit the targets.
The other elven warrior, Letarion, sighed, "All you have to do is pull the string back" He took Stacey’s bow since she was the closest, "to here." He said demonstrating the distance and letting the arrow fly to hit the target dead center.
We all gaped at him now, letting our strings go lax again. I looked at the elf, then at the target, then at the elf again, "Wow, you’re good at this." I finally said.
"Nonsense, that was an easy shot anyone can do it, now you try." He replied.
I shook my head, "That’s gotta be, like, a mile, two miles! I can’t shoot that far." I insisted and my companions nodded vigorously in agreement.
"I am sure you could shoot that far if you tried, now bend your bows and let the arrows fly, you can not be as bad as I have heard, the Rivendell elves do not know how to teach archery, that is all." He insisted.
We shrugged and pulled our strings again, as far as we could. We released the arrows and watched after them eagerly to see if they would make it. They fell less than half the distance to the targets.
One elf rolled his eyes while the other turned to go. "Where are you going, Letarion?" The first elf asked.
"To get some lighter bows." He replied.
We also spent a good deal of time in the forge where Master Lerialion was more than happy to teach us the art of weaponry…
Lerialion was watching over my shoulder as I forged a blade in his furnace, "Watch the left side." He warned and I quickly caught the mistake.
I pulled the small blade out when it was finished and set to work with a smaller tool to work on engravings. I had started this dagger early that morning and had not stopped working for lunch when the time had rolled around, now it was nearly finished.
Master Lerialion smiled and turned to check on my companions. Katy was engraving Rachel and having a bit of a difficult time at it. Lerialion patiently showed Katy the correct way to hold her tool yet again before allowing her to continue her work. Once corrected she found the task much easier.
Finishing I set the dagger aside to cool. "You are some of the best students I have trained in years." He praised as Katy too finished her work. "It is always a joy to see such dedicated young people."
Katy rolled her eyes, "Rachel, I think he’s talking about you again." She said.
I looked at her sword, "No, yours turned out quite well actually." I replied.
"Yeah but you made a whole dagger, I’ve only engraved." She spoke back.
I couldn’t think of anything to say to that so I changed the subject, "Master Lerialion, would you tell us a story?" I asked, "About one of the swords you made?"
Katy rolled her eyes again but sat down next to me as Lerialion began his story. Not only was it about a sword he had once made, but about the elven warrior who wielded it, he had fought in the great war against Sauron himself and there he had fallen.
Upon request Lerialion retold another story, this one about a young elfling and the mischief he had gotten into with the training blade he had made for him. Katy and I found it quite amusing to envision a young Legolas desperately fighting (and losing to) a skilled warrior he had fancied himself the superior of.
I spent the most time in the forge, Katy spending less than me and Stacey even less than her. We had spent a small amount of time learning healing skills (Stacey learned the most here) and of course, fighting with our swords. Even Stacey borrowed a sword and practiced with us. And so the month wore on, The three of us getting in trouble frequently, and getting others in the Fellowship in trouble even more frequently and learning some useful skills on the side.
"Pippin, I bet you wouldn’t ask that elf for a kiss." Katy challenged the drunken hobbit mischievously.
"With these looks I could get her to kiss me!" He laughed.
"Go for it, Pip." I agreed.
Pippin stood up to go over to the elf then he sat back down, "Which one did you want me to kiss again?" the drunken hobbit asked.
"The blonde one next to uh… Strider." I replied, having had a few drinks too many myself.
"Strider?" Katy asked, in our same position.
"Aragorn." Stacey explained.
"Oh… Aragorn-orn-orn…" Katy drifted off.
Merry had a fit of laughter in his sleep under the table and momentarily I wondered what he was dreaming of, my moment was interrupted however as his friend stood up again.
"All right, I’m going." He announced.
I took another drink of my ale, "Going? Going where?" I asked.
"To ask that elf out." Stacey reminded me, taking another drink of my ale as well.
"Oh, you go you little… Hobbit, you." I said before collapsing on the table.
The snickers of my friends brought me back off the table and I returned my attention to Pippin who was approaching the blond elf.
We could just barely make out what he was saying through our drunken stupor, "You have the prettiest eyes I ever seen, uh, seeing." Pippin declared to the elf, gesturing with his mug.
The elf only gave him a strange look and went back to speaking with Strider. Pippin tried again, "Your hair smells like warm ale on a Sunday afternoon!" He complimented.
Again he received no reaction from the elf who seemed glued on Aragorn. He shrugged at us and tried a different tactic, "Kiss me!" He exclaimed and leaned over and kissed the elf heavily.
The said elf pulled away immediately, pushing Pippin off. The elf shouted a few profanities in elvish directed mostly at Pippin, but a few were directed towards Aragorn who was laughing hilariously and some at us who were in the same state only worse from our drinking.
Pippin looked at the elf stunned. When the elf he had kissed finally gained enough self control to speak rationally it was in a loud, angry voice directed at our beloved hobbit friend, "Pippin what in Arnor’s name were you doing?!" He exclaimed.
Pippin looked confused, "Kissing you, silly." He said.
Merry was laughing as well now, having been woken by the elf's exclamations.
"Peregrin Took!" The elf scolded, "Have you gone mad??"
Aragorn came out of his laughter enough to say, "Really Pippin, kissing Legolas? I thought you were above that!" He redoubled in laughter as his friend slugged him in the arm.
"At least he did not kiss you, that would have been low." Legolas scowled.
Pippin was now the brightest shade of red I’ve ever seen a hobbit to that day and since. His face looked like a cherry and when he came back over to us I told him so.
Even amongst our drunkenness, Katy managed to retain enough motor ability to reach into her pocket and hand me the stone she now owed me.
The laughter at the other table had died down and Aragorn could be heard saying, "Who let the maidens drink again?"
To this Legolas responded, "I think it was your day to watch them."
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