8. Snow Ploughs and Frozen Hobbits on a Stick
A/N: ' this is thoughts'
To my FANTASTIC reviewers: Thank YOU!!
Snow Ploughs and Frozen Hobbits on a Stick
Cold, ice cube cold, cold enough to put out a balrog's flames. The mountain was trying to defeat them with every step they took. At first, the way had been easy, then it got steeper and colder. After many hours of travel, the snow began to fall heavily. Luckily for Gandalf and Gimli the powder had worn off, though Gandalf almost used his staff and magic on the hysterically laughing ranger. When Legolas started itching , the wizard had realized Fire was to blame for the uncomfortable incident. The ranger, who finally admitted to her crime, told the three victims that the powder would only last a few hours and the Dwarf and wizard had been at it awhile but the elf could look forward to a few more hours, as it needed sweat to start the process. The elf's stare could have melted the entire mountain top.
The storm brewed ever wilder. The hobbits were almost frozen stiff; the men, Dwarf and wizard only slightly less so. The two elves were the only ones not as effected. Aragorn watched as Legolas walked on the surface of the snow without sinking, with decidedly jealous eyes. He was surprised to see Fire walk, as he did, instead of running above the snow like Legolas. There was something not right about the way the ranger acted, but he was too cold and worried to bring it up at the moment. Suddenly, Legolas moved ahead of the company and listened to the wind. "There is a fell voice on the wind", he yelled above the storm. Gandalf moved forward. "It is Saruman. He is trying to bring down the mountain!", the wizard yelled back. As Gandalf challenged and tried to best Saruman's control over the mountain, Aragorn heard very unladylike language from the ranger. He was puzzled when she spit out in a rage, "Damn fool of a wizard I told him what would happen!! We should have gone straight to Moria, instead of this infernal mountain and he better listen in that pit of a place or I am going to ring his neck!"
After a lightning blast brought part of the mountain down around them, Gandalf gave Frodo the option of where to go and he chose Moria. So down trudged the Fellowship, with the men and ranger carrying the hobbits while Gimli rode Bill the horse, who was being led by Gandalf. At first, the snow was so high the men had to use their bodies to plow through the snow, then come for the hobbits, then plow again. Finally, the snow became less deep, then was gone completely. Sighing in relief, the fellowship started their trek to Moria.
The company walked for two days. The first night found them defending themselves from a warg attack, and then they made for the hidden Dwarf entrance to Moria; reaching it before dusk on the second day. Awaiting the moonlight that would reveal the doorway, the company rested quietly. Hobbits sat together snacking and talking, while the two men conversed together as well. Gandalf sat, as still as a statue, deep in thought. Fire and Legolas sat on opposite sides of the men and glared at each other. Gimli just sat, smirked at the antics of his companions, and let his mind wander to Moria where his cousin, Balin lived.
Legolas glared. He was livid. Itching powder was unacceptable. Try as he might, he could not help but stare at the ranger. The darkening skies turned her hair to spun moonbeams and cast intriguing shadows across her delicate features. Frowning in disgust, Legolas tried to reason with his wayward thoughts. 'She is a menace. Not only is she argumentative, but stubborn too. The prank was completely uncalled for. How in Arda did she get the powder on me without my knowledge?' The elf glanced over to where the wizard sat, before once more looking at the ranger. Fire had turned to watch the antics of the two younger hobbits, and a sweet smile curved her lips up in amusement. Unlooked for desire slammed through his system taking him by surprise. 'Sweet Eru! She is beautiful when she smiles. It is a good thing she does not do it very often or it would be very distracting indeed. Though she is definitely female, it is not an Elvish type of beauty. More earthy, less graceful and not as gentle of spirit as the elleth I prefer. She reminds me of a wild woodland creature; untamed, reckless, primitive in its loveliness, yet volatile, vindictive, and wary. She is secretive and easily riled, yet it is these things that challenge and frustrate me to no end. It keeps my mind turning again and again to that annoying she elf, instead of the road ahead. Her voice is like a spring rain; clear, sweet and refreshing. The songs she sung still echo in my mind, and so does the picture of her face as she sang. This is unacceptable! I should not even entertain such thoughts. She is a royal pain and definitely NOT my type at all. Finally!!, took the wizard long enough to open the door.'
Fire tried not to shift under the glare of the elf. It irritated her to no end that his gaze unnerved her, and she was damned if she would give him the satisfaction of a response. Strange prickles of awareness coursed down her spine and rabid butterflies began to inhabit her stomach again. Her brain began to overheat and all thoughts of a constructive nature fled screaming into the night. Trying to distract herself from the elf's unwavering stare, the ranger turned to watch the hobbits. Smiling in amusement, Fire realized the little Halflings had wormed their way into her heart without her permission, especially the chattering younger two. Turning, she found that the elf still had his eyes firmly in place, and if an Oliphant suddenly sat on his lap, it was likely even that would not dislodge his concentration off of her.
The ranger glared back, but it was harder to do then it seemed. Fire was having a difficult time looking at the elf objectively. Why in Arda he bothered her so, when it was clear he could not stand to be near her, remained a mystery she so very much did NOT want to solve. Not being able to control her wayward gaze, she quickly took in his fair face and muscular form. Frowning in concentration, the ranger took note of an extra dark patch along Legolas' upper arm. 'Fool of an elf! He must have gotten hurt in the warg fight yesterday. Judging from the amount of blood on his sleeve it was a pretty bad bite. Maybe I should tell Aragorn or Gandalf, but knowing the stubborn elf he would just try to pass it off as a scratch. Fine, I guess it is up to me then. Oh now, Gandalf remembers how to get in. Just when I think to make a goodwill gesture, we have to move on. As soon as we stop for a rest, I will pin his worthless hide to an immovable object, then clean and bandage it. Hope it stings something awful when I do!' With that, the ranger followed the rest of the company into the dark pit of Moria.
Gimli was giving them the highlights of what to expect from his cousin's welcome; the malt beer sounded really good. Wrinkling her nose at the stale air, the ranger began to notice ever step produced a crunching sound that was unnerving. At first she thought it was her hyper – sensitive hearing, then the hideous realization of what they walked upon was made clear when Boromir exclaimed it was not a mine, but a tomb. Littering the floor, the remains of goblins and dwarves alike, turned the ground to a minefield of bone. Fire seconded the sentiment when Boromir said to the company, "We should not have come here." Turning as one, the company fled the confines of Moria and into the tentacles of the water guardian, which had been disturbed by the young hobbits rock throwing.
Fire threw herself into the fray. Hacking and slashing the vile beast, the ranger tried to dislodge the guardian's hold on Frodo. Arrows flew by in a blur of speed as Legolas tried valiantly to kill the thing, along with Boromir and Aragorn. Their blades were flashing in desperation, trying to back up once again into the blackness of Moria. Finally, all but Legolas was inside. Calling to the elf, Aragorn looked on in relief as Legolas made it through the door just before it was caved in by the water guardian. Gandalf tapped his staff and a light bloomed in the dark. "It is a four day journey to the other side.", he told the company and with a heavy heart Fire looked into Gandalf's eyes "Remember well what we spoke of Gandalf and harken to my council.", the ranger said quietly but with a determined tone to her voice. With a smile, Gandalf looked at the she elf and replied gently, "Well I know my path and your council I will harken too. Destiny awaits us both, but will you be as strong as I when you come face to face with yours? Come child, the road is long and perilous, we must not tarry here." So saying , the wizard turned and began leading the way into the depth of Moria.
This is a work of fan fiction, written because the author has an abiding love for the works of J R R Tolkien. The characters, settings, places, and languages used in this work are the property of the Tolkien Estate, Tolkien Enterprises, and possibly New Line Cinema, except for certain original characters who belong to the author of the said work. The author will not receive any money or other remuneration for presenting the work on this archive site. The work is the intellectual property of the author, is available solely for the enjoyment of Henneth Annûn Story Archive readers, and may not be copied or redistributed by any means without the explicit written consent of the author.