8. The White Worm
The White Worm
The light was brilliant. Nearly too brilliant for him to stand. He cowered and squinted, sneering at the wizard. What did that meddler think he was doing? How dare he wear those robes? There was only one white wizard and it was not Stormcrow! And now he comes in here and disrupts the peace Gríma had worked so hard to cultivate in this hall, rousing the king from such a carefully-laid apathy. That would not happen!
Before the light faded from Gandalf’s newly-revealed white robes, Gríma leaped off the floor, lunging at the wizard before any could stop him. Gandalf must have been very distracted by the state of Théoden in that moment, for his mouth dropped open in shock when he felt the hands of Wormtongue on his head and face.
The light instantly subsided and the hall returned to normal illumination. Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli ran forward and grabbed the Worm, trying to wrench him away from Gandalf, who stood frozen, his eyes twitching, the veins in his face and neck prominent. But they could not tear Gríma away. He held onto the wizard with a superhuman strength that seemed only to grow the longer he held. Finally, Gimli punched Wormtongue in the kidneys hard enough to loosen the villain’s grip and they all sprawled backward onto the floor.
Gandalf collapsed onto the steps of the dais. The Three Hunters were on their feet in a moment. Legolas ran to help Gandalf while Aragorn, Gimli, and now many of the Rohirrim drew their swords and circled around the crouching form of Gríma.
The Worm was changed. His hair had turned white, as had all his previously-dark clothing. He stood slowly, a twisted smile on his lips. Legolas reported that Gandalf was unmoving, but alive. No one paid much attention. Wormtongue turned his head, looked to where Gandalf lay. He held out his hand and the white staff flew into his grasp.
Stunned, Aragorn hesitated a moment, then charged at Gríma, sword raised. He only got a step before Gríma swung the staff and, without touching him, sent Aragorn hurtling toward the far wall. Gimli and several men attempted the same, only to be knocked back themselves as Wormtongue swung the staff, his white, greasy hair whipping around his head.
It would not last, Gríma knew. Soon the wizard would regain the power he sapped from him and both would return to normal. He must make the most of this advantage while he could. With a mocking nod to Legolas (the only one of his enemies not sprawled on the floor at that moment), he ran to the doorway of Meduseld. His white cloak flying behind him and untouched by the arrows that soon chased him out, he fled down the steps of the Golden Hall, out of sight, flying toward his master, the real white wizard. Saruman would not be pleased that he lost his influence with Théoden, but perhaps he could placate him with this little token. Gríma grinned. After all, a wizard could always use another staff.
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.