M.E.II Chapter 7: Blasted Horses.

We rode fast and hard. Too hard, I was already starting to get tired and we had only been riding for a few hours. Gandalf wanted to get to Edoras as soon as possible. He had summoned our horses as soon as we had left Fangorn and we had started out almost immediately.

Legolas and Aragorn now rode on their own horses and Gimli rode with Gandalf, the lucky little dwarf. Katy and I still shared our horse, which turned out to be a good thing as night began to grow around us.

By the time we stopped to rest it was all our collective strength could do to stay on the horse, and even that strength was waning as I dismounted rather ungracefully, landing on the grass with a thud, and falling asleep directly where I fell.

"Rachel!" I drowsily heard someone call my name. "Rachel!" It repeated, louder this time.

I rolled over, "Five more hours," I mumbled sleepily.

Suddenly I felt someoneís strong hands on my arms and soon setting me upright on my feet. I blinked awake to find myself looking directly at Gandalf. I looked around myself bemusedly, "Itís not morning." I finally managed.

"No," Gandalf smiled tolerantly at me, "And yet we must be riding again if we wish to reach Edoras by morning."

"Oh," I responded, tiredly going over his words in my head, "Alright then, good night." I started to lie down again but Katy stopped me.

"What he meant to say was that we are going to be leaving right now whether you like it or not. So get up!" Katy clarified for me.

I reluctantly mounted a horse, grumbling about everything and anything that popped into my head. Legolas watched me in amusement.

"I suppose you could ride Arod if you want to that much." The elf commented.

I glared at him, then down at the horse I had mounted, then back at the elf. "Of course I want to ride Arod," I commented at length, "Itís not like I accidentally mounted the wrong horse. Stupid elves."

Legolas eyed me skeptically, but mounted along with me anyway after a quick look from Gandalf which seemed to say "Get on the blasted horse already!" and coming from a wizard, thatís not an order to ignore.

It was well into the morning by the time we arrived at Edoras. After waiting at the gate for the guard to get leave for us to enter we finally arrived before the doors of Meduseld. I happily dismounted, with a little help from Legolas so I didnít end up on the ground again.

"I never want to ride another horse again." I muttered, just loud enough for Legolas to hear.

"Katy! Rachel!" I turned around, my eyes widening in surprise and maybe a little poorly hidden horror.

"S-Stacey?" I asked as I was immediately engulfed in a hug.

"What are you doing here?" Katy asked as she was drug in as well.

"Well," Stacey started, I didnít hear what she said next as someone else caught my eye.

"Nikki?!" I exclaimed, now exceedingly confused.

Sure enough, Nikki was soon beside us, wearing one of those quaint white dresses women were apparently so fond of in Rohan.

"Hey, Rach!" She greeted, "Hi, Katy."

I blinked, frowning, "But how are you here? You werenít even in Physics."

"Lassies," I turned around to find Gimli addressing us, Gandalf, Legolas, and Aragorn already disappearing into the halls, "Weíll catch up with you later." With a nod toward the doors the dwarf was off.

I turned back to Nikki, "So, how are you here?" I repeated.

"Well," Nikki started before I cut her off.

"Actually, do you think we could get some food or something before starting what will probably be a long and involved story which Iím too tired to follow right now anyway?"

Nikki laughed, "Sure, come on."

Katy, Stacey, and I followed Nikki into the palace, walking past Gandalf, currently practicing his wizardry, with barely a glance. Leading us through the halls we came to a small kitchen at length, where Nikki asked for some food and was given it.

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