65. Attack on Weathertop
"Maybe we were wrong," Khamul said, looking out at the craggy rock. It had stood the test of time. The tower atop it, however, had not. There was hardly anything left of the proud walls, valiant statues. Nothing but broken stone and, if you looked hard enough, scorched rocks.
"They would not be fools enough to light a fire," Melkor said.
"No horses nearby. At least, I don't hear any."
"Amon Sul stands out in the land," Vorea said. "If their guide is wise, perhaps he led them away."
"If there's a guide at all," Khamul said. Please don't let it be Aragorn. The man can't possibly be stupid enough to get involved in something like this.
The nine Nazgul watched the fortress, eyes sharp in the dark. The moon was covered by a thick layer of clouds, but the ruined fortress still stood out against the night sky. A spot of utter darkness on night.
And then, a burst of light exploded on the world of darkness. A flickering, dancing fire. It was on Weathertop, like a beacon for all the world to see.
"I guess they're there after all," Khamul muttered.
"We cannot take our horses up to the tower," Melkor said.
"They don't wander off."
Melkor shot her a sharp look. "I fear that you may be mistaken," he said. "So for that reason, I shall leave you and Ancalime to watch them."
"Aica and Ringe will scout the rest of the fortress while I and the others lead the assault against the creatures."
"I am not watching the damn horses!" Khamul yelled.
"You are," Melkor said.
"I am not!"
The Dark Lord snarled, his eyes as black as Amon Sul against the sky. "You are."
"Fine," Khamul muttered.
As they rode toward the fortress, Khamul heard faint screams of terror. Bunch of weak little cowards, she thought. They're going to get killed and then Morgoth'll have the Ring. Why can't they fight, the little bastards?
The thought was ludicrous. A bunch of Halflings driving off five Nazgul, not to mention Morgoth himself. Of course, there had been those Halflings in the Shire…
"Do not do anything stupid," Melkor warned as he dismounted.
"Don't worry about me," Khamul said. "Bring me back a Hobbit head."
"I would advise you to do as he asks," Vorea said quietly. "The Dark Lord shall soon rise again with the attainment of the Ring."
Khamul snorted. "I'm not scared of him now and I still won't be if he ever gets the Ring." Not true, of course. Not true at all. But still, it made her sound brave.
Aica gave her a sneer as she and Ringe went off to scout the rest of the fortress. They'd been given jobs. Melkor trusted them more than he trusted Khamul. Wise move there, but he'd've done better not to trust any of them.
"It's a nice night," Ancalime said once they were alone.
"You always tell me that."
"Because you talk too much."
"You do. Now be quiet! I need to think."
Khamul growled. "None of your damn business," she snapped. She couldn't let Morgoth get the Ring. It just wasn't something she could deal with. Sauron, maybe, but not Morgoth. Besides, he wouldn't have a use for the ringbearers anymore.
"Hobbits'd be damn stupid to travel by themselves," Khamul said, searching the night.
"I suppose they had someone to guide them," Ancalime said.
"Yeah… Which way did Aica and Ringe go?"
"Oh…I think they went that way." Ancalime gestured to the right.
"Okay… You know, that leaves the left of the fortress unchecked. Might be some kind of nasty thing hiding there. Better go check it and make sure there's nothing there."
"That's nice of you," Ancalime said. "I'll just watch the horses."
If luck was on her side, Aica and Ringe would still be far away, taking their time with snooping around the ruins. If luck was on her side, the guide – who Khamul was now beginning to hope was Aragorn – would be doing some looking of his own. That's what she'd do. Drop off the Hobbits and have a look around.
"Hey!" she hissed, spotting a figure.
The figure jumped and started to draw its sword. "Khamul!" he gasped. "What are you doing here?"
"It's not just me," Khamul said. "Take a guess as to how many else."
"Yup, but you're just going to have to deal with five. What're you doing getting mixed up in this anyway?"
"It is my duty," Aragorn said. "The Ring needs protection."
"Yes, from you. I wouldn't trust you anywhere near it."
"Smart man. Except that while you're wasting time talking to me, Morgoth's trying to skewer your Hobbit."
As if on cue, there was a bloodcurdling scream from the fortress.
"Frodo," Aragorn gasped.
"Well?" Khamul snarled. "You going to do something or just stand there?"
"You aren't going to stop me?"
"I'm not even supposed to be here."
Aragorn didn't waste another second. He bounded up the hill as surefooted as a mountain goat. Khamul watched him. "Try fire!" she shouted after him. "That's sure to hurt Morgoth's eyes!"
Returning to the horses, Khamul watched as bright light flared and there were unearthly shrieks from the ringbearers.
"Oh dear," Ancalime said. "It doesn't look like they're doing very well, does it?"
"Oh, ain't that a shame," Khamul said. "Oh, and here they come, running back with their tails between their legs. Hello!" she called, waving. "Horses are safe. Not a one tried to go running off."
"Shut up," Melkor snapped. "It doesn't matter anyway. Blasted Ranger."
"Their guide appeared, a Ranger of the North. He might have been the Heir of Isildur."
"He had a torch with him, and was very skilled with a blade."
"I didn't like the swords the midgets had," Yanta said. "They smacked of magic."
"Because they were!" Melkor snarled. "Those were enchanted blades out of Arnor! They must've raided a barrow for them."
"The one with the Ring was a pushover," Yanta said. "Oh, wait, sorry Melkor, didn't mean it like that."
"What happened?" Khamul asked, almost cackling with glee. Had the Dark Lord been injured?
"Little devil stabbed him in the foot and started screaming Elbereth and all that."
Melkor shuddered at the mention of the Queen of the Valar. "Never say that name again," he said.
"I won't. Can't guarantee the Halfling won't if we meet him again though."
"We will in time. The Morgul blade snapped in his wound. There's a piece working its way toward his heart as we speak. And when it reaches the organ he shall die and rise again as a wraith."
"Can he bring the Ring to us?" Khamul asked.
"I believe he can," Melkor said, a faint smile on his lips.
Aica and Ringe came running back after a minute. "What happened?" Aica asked.
"They got run off," Khamul said.
Aica snickered and Ringe glanced at Melkor.
"The Halfling will be dead soon," the Dark Lord said. "We shall pursue him from a distance now. If the opportunity arises, I would like the head of the Ranger. As well as the other Halflings."
"Did another one try to kill you?" Khamul asked with mock sympathy.
"I disliked the look in the eye of one," Melkor said. "I had thought his blade not to have existed either. Just to be merely a metaphor."
"A metaphor? For what?"
"Gondor. The markings on blades of both kingdoms were similar."
"What's he talking about?" Khamul muttered to Vorea.
"I do not know," Vorea said, looking with some concern at the Dark Lord.
"How many Halflings were there?"
"Four. One with the Ring, one fat one, and two smaller ones. One of the small ones appeared quite cowardly to my eyes, but the other looked to have some steel in him."
"That the one Morgoth doesn't like?"
Vorea nodded. "His blade appeared nothing out of the ordinary to me. Enchanted, perhaps, but the same as the others."
"Well, well, well. Halflings with magic swords. What'll the world think of next?"
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.