5. The Scouring of Rivendell
Beside the road, under a large oak which provided him with shadow, Frodo Baggins sat, peacefully smoking his pipe and turning the leaves in a book. The sun was shining, the birds singing; it was truly a beautiful day.
The hobbit looked up as he heard hoof-beats approaching. He put the book down carefully and mumbled, seemingly to himself;
“They are here.”
Two riders came out from the forest. The two were as different as night and day, since one was dark and the other fair. Naturally, they were both fair. It was just that one was blond and the other wasn’t. She who wasn’t had raven-black hair, and wore a dress the colour of midnight. Her sister wore the rosy colour of dawn. One was named Nocturnusiel and the other went by the name Auroralien. I could tell you who is who, but then again, a little bewilderment just about here would really favour the tale. You may still guess, of course.
Anyway, out from the forest they rode. Frodo took a deep breath and stepped out in the middle of the road. Thus exposed he started to moan;
“Oh, waily waily, oh, woe is me!”
The elf-maidens halted, and watched him curiously. They had travelled far and wide, but never before had they seen such a creature as this.
“Oh, me, oh my,” Frodo continued. He stared at the women; eyes wide open, and added;
“Waily waily, woe!”
Nocturnusiel glanced at her sister and asked;
“Do you think it is a child?”
Auroralien shook her head thoughtfully. “Nay,” she said, “A child it is not. I have never seen the like of him.”
“If you have never seen the like, then how can you know that I’m not a--” Frodo began, before he could stop himself. “I mean, my, waily woe,” he said quickly.
“Little boy, why are you crying?” asked Nocturnusiel tenderly.
“Oh waily, I’m so wee, that’s a hobbit’s life for me,” wailed the hobbit.
Nocturnusiel looked confused. Meanwhile, Auroralien got off her horse and stepped forward. She reached out, intending to pat Frodo on the head, but the hobbit jumped away quickly.
“Oh, woe, what can a hobbit do,” he exclaimed and looked at her with huge, blue eyes.
Eyes so blue that Auroralien gasped. By now, Nocturnusiel had dismounted as well and strode forward.
“Here, let us help you,” she said.
Frodo contemplated her warily and took a small step towards her. Auroralien got down on her knees and called at him;
“Here, come here! Let’s have a little hug, shall we?” she smiled at him, eyes glittering.
“Indeed,” her sister agreed. “A hug to make you feel better?”
“Well,” said Frodo, “but you must promise not to touch my cute curly-haired feet or my cute curly hair...”
“Cute curly... –no, of course not,” Auroralien lied. Not touching those cute curly-haired feet? But he would like it! She would make him like it! She smiled as tenderly as before, as did Nocturnusiel at her side.
Frodo looked from one to the other and moved closer, slowly... he stopped just out of reach and opened up his eyes as wide as he could.
“Waily...” he said, in a small voice.
The elf-maidens tried their best not to look too eager, but found this very hard.
“So... cute... must... cuddle!” Nocturnusiel hissed and stared at the hobbit.
“Must... cuddle... fuzzy... feet!” Auroralien agreed.
As one, they threw themselves at Frodo. He whimpered adorably, and ran.
It was obvious that he wouldn’t make it. They were twice his size, twice his number and extremely determined to cuddle him.
Luckily, Frodo had twice the number of brain cells as they had. He ran as fast as he could towards the tree. Behind him, the elf-maidens smiled. He would never manage to climb that tree before they could get him. Frodo risked a glance over his shoulder and passed the oak. He could practically feel their breath on the back of his neck...
Then he heard their triumphant screams turn into ones of horror. He turned back and smiled broadly at the sight.
“Two already!” shouted Pippin from the treetop.
“Not as heavy as you’d expect, them elves,” said Merry, dropping down from the branches.
Frodo looked back to the furious elves who hung, tangled up in a net. They cursed and fought to get loose. Then they screamed again as Pippin cut the rope and they dropped to the ground with a thud.
“To bad we couldn’t leave them hanging there,” said Pippin as he came climbing down.
“Yes, indeed,” said Frodo.
“How can you do this to us? How dare you?” Aururalien shouted.
“We are Lord Elrond’s daughters! I demand that you set us free immediately!” came the muffled voice of Nocturnusiel.
“No worries,” said Frodo dismissively. “Sam, will you take the horses?”
Sam, who’d been lurking in the bushes, took the reins. The three other hobbits grabbed the net and dragged it along the road towards Rivendell.
The protests from the beautiful elf-maidens scared off all the birds. Apparently, they had learned some rather dirty language on their journeys.
At a different location, Aragorn the manly ranger, he of many names (many of them moaned in privacy at night and therefore not known to us) was picking flowers. Many might argue that this task is not a proper ranger-thing to do, but those who say so are fools. Flowers might always come in handy; there are flowers that possess the power to hurt, and others which may heal. Strider had great knowledge of flowers.
It is said that flowers even have a language of their own. This is wrong. Flowers cannot speak. They can, however, have a meaning. And the meaning of the pretty bouquet Aragorn so tenderly was caressing was more or less “Come here, you yummy you, and let’s get groovy!”
Indeed, Arwen was a lass who knew the qualities of flowers and could read their language. Very well, their meaning.
Unfortunately, so could others. Aragorn does not know this yet. He is happily picking the flowers and sees not the figure behind him, hears not the sword that is drawn... not before it’s too late.
“What’s this, a ranger, caught off his guard?” said a smooth voice. Aragorn twitched as he felt the cold steel against his neck, and looked up.
A wondrous sight met his eyes as he did so, wondrous and yet frightening, since a giant sword tends to have that effect on people. An elf-maiden, tall and slender, a slight smile on her cherry-red lips, her golden hair in a long braid... Aragorn could hardly breathe. And then, when the elf-maiden withdrew her sword and he still couldn’t breathe, he felt slightly embarrassed.
“Er... hi,” he said, meekly.
She merely smiled at him. Then the flowers caught her attention. She contemplated them silently, and when she looked back at him, her smile was even wider.
“Really?” she said, “Well, why not...”
Aragorn looked in astonishment as she removed her sword-belt and let it fall onto the ground. She smiled at him, and reached down to remove his belt as well.
“Wait, I, Er...” he gasped.
“What’s wrong?” she asked, and placed her hands at his hips. Aragorn was feeling rather uncomfortable with the situation. In order to sort it out, he said;
“I really don’t think this is a good idea”.
Her laugh was like silver bells, light and melodious. She threw her head back and let it out, as if asking the birds to join in. You’ll be surprised to know that they didn’t. Birds, as earlier pointed out, seldom listen to what people say to them. But the woman who watched the couple from a hide-out had spent many a day talking to the birds. And sometimes, even a bird can surprise you. They can be extremely loyal, for example.
The fair lady in Aragorn’s company didn’t pay attention to the birds’ absence, though. Maybe she should have. But she didn’t. Instead, she let her hands move softly upwards, until they came to a rest on Aragorn’s manly chest. She smiled and shook her head, as at a silly joke, and said;
“Not a good idea? I know.” Aragorn looked relieved, but this expression quickly faded as she continued;
“It is, in fact, an excellent idea!” She then leant forward to kiss him. This action caused a lot of things to happen.
The first thing was that Aragorn stepped backwards, which made the woman lose her balance. In an attempt to regain it, she grabbed Aragorn’s arm, which made him drop the bouquet. Aragorn bent down to get it, and the elf-maiden tripped over him and fell in a heap as a furious Arwen dropped down from a tree and temporarily knocked her out.
Aragorn found himself sitting on the ground. As he looked up, he saw the two beautiful women circling around him, hissing at each other like cats. Arwen, sword in hand, was the first one to speak;
“What exactly do you think you’re doing with my man?”
“Your man? Everybody’s man, sister dear, we have always shared them,” the other one snapped.
“So we did, Bëowulfiária,” said Arwen, “But things have changed around here!”
Bëowulfiária snorted. “Now have they really, little sister? Is it your place to tell me that I cannot have a man if I’d like?”
“Not my man!” Arwen growled.
Aragorn had never seen her as magnificent as now, in her wrath. He would not have challenged her, had he met her in this mood. Her sister didn’t seem impressed, though. She smiled condescendingly at Arwen and said;
“What would you do about it, dear sister? You cannot kill me, not your own kin, and you could never beat me in a swordfight.” She seated herself next to Aragorn and smiled evilly at her sister.
“You have been warned,” said Arwen, “keep your hands off my man!”
Bëowulfiária leant closer to Aragorn and said;
“Come and claim him!” She planted a kiss on Aragorn’s lips... or at least she meant to, but he jerked away so that the kiss actually landed on his nose.
“Come and claim him,” she repeated.
“That,” said Arwen, a smile of satisfaction on her lips, “I will.”
With this, she stepped forward, grabbed her sister by the braid and wielded her sword. Aragorn closed his eyes.
There was a silence. It seemed to Aragorn that it lasted an eternity.
Then, there was the scream.
A cry of true agony, of wrath, and of fear, ringing through the woods. It went on forever and ever... and then it stopped.
Aragorn opened his eyes. And what he saw was this;
There was Arwen, standing tall, a picture of power.
There was her sister, on her knees, pale as the flowers that grow on dead kings’ graves.
There was the braid, hanging in Arwen’s hand, a few hairs moving in the wind.
And everything was quiet.
Aragorn looked down at the bouquet in his hand. The flowers had been crushed, and were hanging sadly in his grip. He looked up at Arwen again.
“I picked them for you,” he said, and handed her the remains of the bouquet.
She took it and contemplated it for a moment. Then she looked into his eyes and smiled.
On the ground, the Mary Sue reached up, hands trembling, towards the short remains of her delicate coiffure. She started to cry.
It was an early morning, upon which the mist still lingered, that Galadriel, Lady of the Golden forest, for the first time tried her new coat on.
It had been woven in a complicated and lovely pattern, and cut in a most flattering manner. Elrond could be proud; this was truly a masterpiece. And the embroidery that Arwen had made for the collar and the sleeves was just perfect.
Galadriel turned around in front of the mirror, and then turned towards Elrond, who was anxiously waiting by her side.
“It will do,” she told him, “It will do very well indeed.”
Elrond relaxed. These were big words, coming from Galadriel. He was pleased. He had put much of himself into that coat. Literally speaking.
“I will now return to my residence,” she continued, “where I shall spread the news that the Mary Sues are no longer a threat.”
Elrond made a face. Galadriel looked sternly at him and added;
“And there shall be much rejoicing.”
“Yes, I expect there will,” said Elrond reluctantly, and tried to avoid her gaze.
“You were doing the right thing,” said Galadriel softly.
Elrond shrugged. “Well, yes, I guess so... I just wish that things had been different.”
Galadriel nodded. She could understand that, even if she thought that the Mary Sues had fully deserved the faith coming to them. They stood silent for a moment.
Eventually, Elrond sighed.
“Oh well,” he said, “I guess it’s all for the best of Middle Earth.”
“You are absolutely right,” said Galadriel.
In the garden, snoring could be heard from Aragorn’s tent. Elrond and Galadriel passed it, careful not to disturb the sleeping couple.
As Galadriel mounted her horse, she leant down one last time and reassured Elrond that he had done the right thing.
“Remember, that they now dwell where they can do no harm,” she said. Then she rode off into the fog, towards Lothlórien.
“Yes,” thought Elrond, “They now dwell in a place where their powers are weak, and where they can do no more harm to Middle Earth.”
And he sincerely believed it.
In a small town a girl got off the bus. She hummed a happy tune, thinking of nothing in particular, as she walked up the street to her home.
She was known to be a nice girl, nothing special, really, but quite nice. And she did have a good singing voice. Maybe not as good as she thought it was, but still good.
She entered her room and turned on the lights, dropped her bag on the floor, but then changed her mind and picked it up, carefully placing it on her bed. She was a nice girl indeed.
If anything bad could be said about her, it would be that she tended to get too obsessed over certain artists and actors. Her walls were always filled with posters of this or that artist and she liked to read about her heroes in various gossip-magazines. Her mother had actually caved in and bought her a copy of “Backstreet Boys; a biography” a while ago. She still hadn’t read it. She wasn’t much for books. She liked the pictures, though.
On this particular night, she had been to the movies and seen this new fantasy-film everyone was talking about. She had been overwhelmed. It was all so beautiful, so special, so... she didn’t really have the words for it.
But she had felt that something had been missing in this wonderful saga. There hadn’t been enough love. This girl enjoyed a good old love story, but here, they hadn’t really added much of that.
And then, on her way home, this amazing idea had come to her; she would write her own story! With lots of love! And in this Middle Earth-place!
She had come up with a great name for her heroine, too. It all felt so natural! She turned on her computer and settled down, staring at the screen for a moment.
Then she started to type.
“Once upon a time in Middle Earth, there was this beautiful elven lady, who was loved by everyone for her beauty...”
She thought for a while, and added;
“And for her beautiful singing-voice.”
The girl smiled, and looked at the sentences. This was going to be great! As inspiration took hold of her, she wrote;
“She was a princess, and everyone knew that she could not have her true love, for he was merely a steward’s son, while she was royal. It was all very sad.
The beautiful elven princess went by the name of Rapúnzelidion...”
Lyrics from "The Piper" belongs to ABBA.
Great thanks to my Beta, D'Euly! (And to Terry Pratchett, who will never know what a great source of inspiration he has been to me.)
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.