ME 52: Missed opportunities

It was soon the night before the Fellowship would be leaving. Aragorn and Legolas had been carefully avoiding us because they were the ones who had said we couldn’t come with and they were still nervous we might do something.

Katy, Stacey and I stayed up later than usual to plan our next morning. We were drinking a very strong tea to keep us awake. Well, it was used for that and because Merry and Pippin had offered to get us drinks as a goodbye which we had eagerly accepted.

"I think they should just wait until we get up to leave." Katy decided abruptly.

I looked at her and blinked, "They would be here all day then, they said they wanted to get an early start."

Stacey laughed though neither Katy nor I had been aware someone had told a joke. "I told Haldir to wake us up anyway." I reminded Katy, "I said we really wanted to see them off even if we weren’t allowed to go with."

"And you remember this?" Stacey asked.

"Yeah I remember it." I said defensively, "But I didn’t think there was ever fog in Lothlorien. When was there fog?" I asked.

"There wasn’t." Stacey said finally beginning to get annoyed at our drunken stupor. Katy and I eyed each other knowingly as Stacey threw up her hands in exaggerated exasperation.

I tried to stifle the evil maniacal laughter threatening to expose itself as I glanced at my evil sidekick. Little did Stacey know but we had refused those drinks. She wouldn’t have believed us if we told her anyway. But we hadn’t had a drink all night. We were very proud of ourselves. But that is getting off the point.

The point is we were playing into being drunk, she thought we were and we wanted to keep it that way so she would not realize our real scheme until it was too late. In her tea we had sneakily added a bit of a sleeping potion. It was delayed acting and although it would not take affect for at least another half hour it would last well into the next day. Allowing us an easy escape. Acting weird was just an added bonus we had taken to playing out even when we weren’t really drunk.

Stacey was soon barely able to keep her eyes open and we were also exhausted from our antics. We all fell into a much needed sleep as we awaited the first rays of dawn.

I stood over a small shape, sword held high over my head and I was enjoying the anticipation of bringing it down on my foe. An evil smile crossed my face as I brought the blade down upon a ring wraith at my feet. It rang loudly, vibrating due to the intensity of the impact. I smiled seeing the wraith disappear into a black cloud, quickly dispersing like a patch of fog.

That was the last of them. I had single handedly taken out all nine of the horrible Nazgûl. I opened my hand to reveal the shimmer of a small golden object. With an evil smile I began to slip the ring onto my finger.

I felt myself being shaken, but shrugged it off concentrating on the ring. I was shook again and someone was calling my name. The ring disappeared from my sight into blackness and I wearily opened my eyes. I scowled seeing Haldir bending over me, waking me up.

"What?" I grumbled trying to roll over and go back to sleep.

"You wanted me to wake you before the others left. They rose a little while ago and are preparing to leave." Haldir informed me, "And a simple ‘thank you’ would have done, after all I was only doing as you requested."

Realization dawned on my face, "Oh. It’s morning already? But I was having such a good dream too." I complained.

He smiled, "What kind of dream?" He asked.

I quickly caught myself before telling him of the dream, "Um… I don’t think I remember it very clearly…" I said, "Besides, it’s of matters best not spoken here." I added, obviously beginning to wake since I was able to think of a comeback.

He gave me a skeptic look but went to wake the others. On the other side of the pavilion I made sure all of my stuff was packed and tied my positioned my sword on my belt.

I turned around to see Haldir standing next to a very groggy looking Katy. "Morning, Katy!" I said, trying to sound chipper just to annoy her.

Katy’s response was an unintelligible grunt, little more than I had expected. Haldir spoke to me next, "I am sorry, but I was not able to wake your other friend." He informed me.

"Really?" I asked, feigning surprise which I could tell Haldir saw right through by the look on his face. Heedlessly I continued, "That’s too bad. I guess she’ll miss the sendoff."

Haldir looked at me sternly and it was all I could do to try not to look too guilty as innocence was now beyond my grasp, "You are not planning anything, are you?" He asked, "You are not permitted to follow them under any circumstances."

"I know! I know!" I assured him, "Don’t worry, we won’t do anything foolish." I said noting that this did not put him at ease at all. Katy was now strapping her own sword to her belt and lifting her pack. They were packed lighter than last time so we could get them on and off with at least some ease.

Katy and I started off ignoring the elf behind us, "Where are you going?" He questioned after us.

We answered like we had practiced the night before, "We have girl things to attend to." Katy said and I agreed.

Haldir sighed. He didn’t know what these girl things were but he wasn’t willing to follow us to find out.

Katy and I walked hurriedly through the Lorien forest. Trees towering above us until we finally found the tree we were looking for. I stooped down to a small crevice at the base of the tree, it was large and I found myself crawling most of the way into it before I reached the back of the opening.

I soon emerged carrying two bundles. I handed one to Katy and kept one for myself. They were the cloaks that Silvethian had made for us along with some other provisions.

It was kind of funny, Silvethian had gotten all the palace maidens excited about our departure. Apparently they all liked the idea of some women accompanying the men and keeping them in track or something. Of course they’d never admit this to anyone else.

Katy turned her back to me and allowed me to put the cloak and provisions I held into her pack and I turned allowing her to do the same for me. With that done we quickly made our way to the river.

Upon arrival we were greatly distressed to see the shapes of three little boats paddling down the river. "No! We missed them! This wasn’t part of the plan!" I said, even though seeing them off had not been a very necessary step.

"We’ll just skip that part." Katy suggested.

"We can’t just ‘skip that part!’" I exclaimed, "It was the fourth step! It’s a very important step! How can the rest fall into place without that step?" I asked.

Katy raised an eyebrow at me, "Slow down before you hyperventilate or something." She muttered as I began breathing deep, slow breaths.

Since I was busy trying to keep under control I failed to notice the small elf party walk up silently behind us. "What is the matter?" Galadriel asked Katy, looking a little worried about me.

Katy smirked, "She’s just upset because we didn’t get to see the Fellowship off." She informed the lady of the wood, although it was likely Galadriel already knew what the problem was… And of our plan.

She smiled gently at us, "My husband and I are leaving to see them off right now." She informed us, "Would you like to accompany us?"

Katy answered that we would and I, having overheard the question, was nodding furiously behind her. The lady laughed, a beautiful bell like sound, "Make ready then, our ship approaches." She told us.

We looked up in awe to see her large ship resembling a swan. It occurred to me that it probably was the swan I had thought I’d seen when we first arrived at the river a few minutes ago, but it was small enough then I had actually thought it was the bird.

Katy and I exchanged eager smiles before following the lord and lady onto the ship.

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