7. An Unexpected Chat
The night is my special time. When I am alone and can spend time prowling the back halls and alleys of the Seventh Circle. I do not need much sleep and so I left the Lord Denethor to his papers and his brandy and made my rounds. All quiet this night, with some disturbing undertone to it. The skies above the Mountain of Fire seemed darker, more malevolent. I shook the thought away.
There was one more spot I wanted to visit before I settled. I was drawn to the north of the Citadel; a low light shone in their room. I quickly made my way to the windowsill and watched. The Hobbit slept, but the wizard did not.
"Come in. I have been expecting you."
The hairs on my back stood straight up and I hissed furiously. 'How does he know?'
"You need not make such a racket. I have seen you dogging," and here the cad broke into a smile, "yes, Alqualondë, dogging the Hobbit's footsteps. Did you learn what you wanted?"
Pulling my shoulders back, I stepped into the room. I looked about; there were no hidden traps, then walked towards him. To my surprise, a small bowl of milk sat by the hearth.
"I thought you might be hungry, what with the rationing."
Again, my hair stood on end. I was used to Denethor reading my mind, but this wizard? Shrugging as if naught was amiss, I walked to the bowl and gently lapped up the milk; when I was finished, I sat by the fire and licked the hair around my mouth. The milk, though watered, was fresh.
"Now that you are done, would you like to answer my question? Did you learn from the Hobbit what you wanted?"
A small sigh escaped me. After a few moments' concentration, the wizard knew I had grown fond of Peregrin, Pippin he tells me is what the Hobbit likes to be called, and I knew that he had a particular fondness for Faramir. Well, that does not upset me. The boy needs friends. I blinked a few times. "Ah. A wizard's pupil. Is that what he called Faramir? How sad. We are friends and the boy admires me, but I would do naught to sunder him from his father."
We sat like that for many more moments. At last, he sighed, which made me smile under my whiskers. "I have respect for your master. I have not come to harm him; I have come to help Gondor in her need."
I bristled at that and he realized his mistake. "So, you have no master? Well, I can understand that." He smiled. "I have no master myself, but that does not mean I do not serve."
My smile returned. "I am glad to see we agree then, Master Cat. May I ask a favor of you?"
I nodded. "Would you watch over Pippin? I am quite fond of him, too."
I let him know that would be easy enough, once my duties to Denethor were complete. Yes, it would be easy to keep an eye on the Hobbit. I knew, from my chat with the Steward earlier this evening that Pippin would be summoned in the morning to Denethor's side. It would be very easy to watch him.
The wizard thanked me, then dismissed me. I sat for a moment in total amaze. To give myself some modicum of respectability, I waited another moment before I left, as if 'twas my idea to end our session. Once I reached the street, I yowled out my anger. And then I laughed. So, the wizard likes to play games. I have played with the master of all games, the Lord Denethor, and have won a round or two. The wizard had better be prepared to lose!
I heard his laughter as I turned down the street.
A/N - Ok - so I wasn't sure if cats had fur or hair - this site helped! http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?articleid=0006E5B1-64B0-1C72-9EB7809EC588F2D7
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