11. Of the Weight of Hobbits
“How much longer must I lie idle here? My mind grows restless.”
“You will lie there until you are rested,” replied Aragorn. The Elf began to sit up at hearing this.
“I am rested.” Narilvrin’s arms were shaky as he began the slow process of standing up. Upon hearing the quiet rustle of leaves behind her, Aragorn turned. Seeing Legolas getting to his feet, he walked over to the Elf, and, placing a firm hand on both shoulders pushed her to sit once more.
“You most certainly are not.”
“I most certainly am.” The Elf protested, trying to get up once more, in spite of the Ranger’s hands on her shoulders. Aragorn pushed her to the ground yet again and Narilvrin winced as his hand came to lay across the wound on her right shoulder. There was a small patch of blood on the Elf’s shoulder.
“When did this start bleeding again?” Asked the Ranger, with growing agitation. Narilvrin shrugged, brushing aside the question. Aragorn groaned with frustration. “I will bind it again...but first....Merry, Pippin....would you assist me a moment!?” He yelled for the two Hobbits sitting a ways away. They came with identical looks of confusion.
“What’s the matter, Strider?” Asked Pippin wonderingly.
“You are now in charge of making sure Lady Narilvrin does not move. I am going to make a drink that will help soothe her discomfort.” Said Aragorn as he walked over to his pack near the fire. Merry and Pippin grinned upon receiving their assignments for they had previously been quite without anything to do. Narilvrin, underestimating them, began to get up.
“Naw ah...Strider said you weren’t supposed to move.” Said Merry.
“Friend though he may be, it is not often that I take orders. I am fine.”
“Well, he put us in charge of keeping you still, and that is what we will do.” Chimed Pippin. With that, the two Hobbits plopped down across both the Elf’s legs, mindful not to hurt her wound. Narilvrin groaned.
“This is not necessary...I am not so injured that...” Merry poked Narilvrin carefully in the side. The Elf cringed.
“Evidence enough for me that you should not be up and about,” said Merry.
“That was not necessary either.” Narilvrin tried to move her legs, but with the injury on her right leg and the broken rib, little could be done to displace the determined Hobbits.
“No moving.” Pippin mimicked Aragorn, making himself more comfortable. The Ranger looked over his shoulder from his work with a smile.
“It seems that I have found the two best fit for the difficult task of subduing an Elf,” said Aragorn as he crumpled a few leaves, adding them to a cup of heated water. Narilvrin shot him another fierce glare. Moments later Aragorn finished brewing the drink and brought the steaming cup over to the Elf, kneeling beside her. “Drink this.” The Ranger held the cup out to the Elf. The water had gained a tint of green and smelled of herbs.
“It is unneeded,” said Narilvrin defiantly, pushing it away.
“As a friend it would comfort me to know that you are at ease, at the very least. Drink this.”
“And it would comfort me were we to persist in our journey...” Began Narilvrin, but before he could say another word, the Ranger poured half the contents of the cup down the Elf’s throat, forcing her to swallow lest he choke.
“Victory!” Yelled Pippin happily, with a grin.
“I assume you wish to drink the rest on your own,” said Aragorn, proud of his accomplishment. Narilvrin threw a nearby twig at the Ranger.
“Aragorn, you have done much to rile me these days of late, and if you so choose to continue, I can assure you that you will receive more than a twig as punishment!” The Ranger shook his head, frowning, and brushing the twig from his shoulder. He did not mind so long as the Elf concerned herself with resting and not resisting treatment. Indeed, it had alarmed him to know that Narilvrin had been sitting in the treetops one moment and being forced to lean on him for support the next. But...I should not worry so. Narilvrin is strong...and she was injured only just this morning. To be walking around is a great accomplishment, Elf though she be. Thought Aragorn to himself.
“Just drink it, mellon nin.” Reluctantly, Narilvrin extended her hand and took the cup. She knew the ranger would not relent in his protests. With a sigh and a last glower in Aragorn’s direction, she took a sip. It tasted much more pleasant when she drank it willingly. But there was something oddly recognizable about it, if not admonishing.
“Are you pleased?” Aragorn nodded slightly. Narilvrin narrowed her eyes suddenly, recognizing more fully the scent that emanated from the drink she held in her hand. “A sedative...!” Aragorn grinned.
“I knew I could not fool you for long...but I made sure to add enough of the plant to down even an Elf, if only for an hour...” Narilvrin gritted her teeth as her eyes became drowsy. I should have known he would do something of this sort...Thought the Elf. Indeed, Aragorn had added much more of the sleep-inducing plant than was needed, even for an Elf.
For Narilvrin the world around her was slowly blurring into a mass of color. The many leaves above had become a flood of shades of green. The quietly chattering birds became silent to his ears. Narilvrin slowly feel into a light sleep, however hard she had tried to fight it. She had been weary before the drink had been forced upon her...but with it now, sleep was inevitable. As the Elf slipped into slumber, Aragorn set to work.
He had been unsure of whether or not he should stitch Narilvrin’s wound, but was now decided. Not only that, but he had not wished to cause any further pain by doing such while Narilvrin was conscious although he knew the Elf maiden would have been more than able to cope.
Merry and Pippin watched the resting Elf with curiosity, for it was the first time they had ever seen this. Aragorn smiled as he searched through a pack for a needle and thread and upon finding them, cleaned them thoroughly. He calmly threaded the needle.
Sliding the suede jerkin and silken shirt beneath from the Elf’s shoulder, the Ranger cautiously began to sew the flesh. Fresh blood from the tiny punctures slowly collected. Aragorn wiped this away with his sleeve. Narilvrin’s quietus face winced slightly, for even in sleep, she was always alert. The two Hobbits watched this with even more fascination, although they were still hesitant about whether or not to move from where they sat.
Aragorn worked carefully, placing each stitch as neatly as could be done. Throughout this time, Narilvrin did not flinch again. When at last he was finished, he wiped away any more blood that had accumulated and rebandaged the wound. Before finishing, Aragorn checked the Elf’s side. As long as Narilvrin slept, he may as well do what he could. The bruise had not lessened and if anything had grown a worse shade of purplish blue. He re-wrapped the Elf’s torso after checking the damaged rib with a frown. Slowly the Elf pulled her attire back over her shoulder with a look of annoyance. Had the drink worn off? But no, Narilvrin’s eyes did not open. Aragorn sat back upon his heels with a shake of his head.
“Merry, Pippin...stay near her. I do not want her wandering away should he awaken.” The two Hobbits nodded, accepting the assignment.
Within the Elf’s dreams she felt the presence of the Uruk-hai all the more. The rankness was closing in around her as she slept, and in more numbers than could be imagined. Fifteen had been troublesome enough...how many could she fend off? How many could the Fellowship fend off? She wished that they would leave here. For the Ringbearer to encounter these creatures would be disastrous, and Narilvrin knew so. But she felt also that danger was growing within the Fellowship as well. Already she had seen signs of the Ring’s alluring effect on the Son of the Steward. How long would it be before it consumed the man? Such a thought was gotten rid off quickly before other questions accumulated. Frodo’s immunity to the Ring’s effect, at least thus far, had shocked the Elf...but how long would it be before this immunity crumbled as well? Sound finally broke the silence of her slumber.
Around her Narilvrin could hear the voices of Hobbits talking happily. Narilvrin became aware of a growing numbness in her legs. Had Merry and Pippin yet to take seats elsewhere then the Elf’s legs? The feeling of a weight upon Narilvrin’s legs confirmed this. There was a clatter of pots. With that, the Elf opened her eyes with a quiet groan.
“Blung pheriannath,” she mumbled. Merry and Pippin turned to face the Elf.
“You are awake!” Said Pippin cheerfully upon hearing the Elf stirring. Narilvrin nodded her head as she rubbed the forced sleep from her eyes.
“I would have never slept had it been my choice.”
“Aw, but then you would have been awake for this...” Merry said, pointing to the Elf’s right shoulder. Now that she thought about, her shoulder did feel a bit odd. In curiosity, Narilvrin drew her clothes back to reveal her shoulder. The bandage had been changed, but something else felt different.
“Aragorn stitched you up,” said Pippin, seeing the Elf’s confusion. And sure enough, when Narilvrin pulled back the side of the bandage, there were neat stitches holding the flesh together. Narilvrin shrugged. She would have deeply preferred to have remained conscious.
There was another clatter of pots. Narilvrin looked around to find the source. Sam, putting down his precious pots and pans and walked over to the Elf.
“Did I wake you? I should have taken more care to keep quiet while you rested...” Said Sam, apologetically.
“It is most certainly alright. I am glad to be awake, for my sleep had not come willingly but forcibly and I most desired to be wakened in any case,” said Narilvrin, shooting Aragorn a deadly glare. Sam nodded and returned to his pots and pans and began poking at the former fire with a sigh.
“We’ll be needing more firewood if I am to cook anything.” Aragorn was about to stand when Frodo stopped him, politely.
“If you would, Strider, I would like to get it.” Aragorn pondered a moment but did not object.
“So long as you do not stray far. Stay within yelling distance.”
Frodo nodded and strode into the wood. The influence of the Ring had been growing of late. When at last he had learned of the strange creatures that Legolas and Narilvrin had slain, he realized they were the reason for this. The Ring wanted to be found. These creatures could provide that...they could bring the Ring back to its master. Knowing that he must be careful, Frodo began his search for firewood. In truth, he wanted a chance to be alone. A chance to think. As he searched along the ground there was a rustle of leaves nearby....had someone followed?
Back at camp, Narilvrin fought desperately to stand, but the Hobbits were determined to keep him from doing so. Aragorn and Legolas had bade her sit down once more and Sam had agreed with the Ranger. Gimli had laughed outwardly as the Elf came close to being on her feet, only to be pushed to the ground by the Hobbits and with the aide of Legolas they had managed to render her immobile. Nevertheless, one was missing....
Translation: Blung Pheriannath = Heavy halflings.
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