2. Double Trouble
Elladan sits on the grass, waiting until Elrohir is done with his book, when an Orc appears out of nowhere. He knows he should be alarmed by this, but somehow he can't bring himself to worry.
Do you see that Orc? Elrohir asks in mind.
Yes , he answers. What about it?
Nothing, Elrohir says, except she's wearing one of old Bilbo's waistcoats.
So she is, Elladan now notices. And that's his pocket watch as well, he adds, pointing out the watch the Orc had taken out of her waistcoat's pocket.
So it is, Elrohir replies, as the Orc runs by muttering to herself, and enters a round door that has appeared in the hillside. Was that door there before? he asks.
No, Elladan says, But then the hill wasn't either, so that is all right.
Shouldn't we go after her to see what is going on, or where she's going? Elrohir asks.
Elrohir shrugs. Bad idea , he answers. Besides, it's only Grûgishl looking for Estel. She doesn't need our help to find him. Now where did I put my book?
Elladan looks around. Over there? No, that is… He falls silent. I don't feel too well, he suddenly realises.
Me neither, Elrohir replies. Let's follow Grûgishl anyway , he adds, even if it is a bad idea.
Elladan only nods as he stands up, and immediately follows Elrohir towards the door in the hillside.
On the other side of the door they find themselves in a hallway full of more doors. Elladan turns left, while Elrohir goes to investigate the doors along the other side of the hallway. All doors are closed, but some still exude a threat, and Elladan knows that none of these should be opened. Elladan shrugs and returns to the middle of the hallway, just as Elrohir also comes back.
His brother shakes his head. "Nothing of interest," he says out loud.
"Nothing here either," Elladan replies.
"Where did that come from?" Elrohir suddenly asks, pointing at a low table that wasn't there before.
"I don't know," Elladan says, as he kneels to examine the table. There is a small bottle on it, marked "DRINK ME" in large letters. He holds it up for Elrohir to take a closer look as well. His brother takes the bottle, and removes the stopper to sniff at it.
"It smells sweet," Elrohir says, setting it to his mouth. Panicking, Elladan knocks the bottle away before Elrohir can drink from it.
"Have you gone mad?" they both exclaim, Elrohir rubbing at his chin where Elladan struck him. "You can't just drink something because it says so on the label," Elladan adds.
"You hit me." Elrohir sounds more than a bit sulky. "And now I can't get into the garden."
"What garden?" Elladan asks. He is certain he didn't hit his brother hard enough to even daze him, never mind cause hallucinations.
"The one I've seen behind that door down there," Elrohir says, pointing down.
"What do… Oh, that one." Elladan sees a small door, only about a foot high. "And why did you think it was a good dea to just go through yet another door that suddenly appeared?"
"I don't know, I just felt it was," Elrohir says, looking sheepish. He falls silent when they both hear footsteps approaching.
After a while, a Ranger appears in the hall. He looks familiar, but Elladan can't remember his name.
"Have you seen any mushrooms?" the Ranger asks. "I must hurry and I don't have enough yet." He doesn't wait for an answer before dashing off again, but Elladan and Elrohir stare at each other. Mushrooms. They can't quite work out why that would be important, but they know it is.
"Wait!" they yell, but the Ranger has already disappeared again.
"I still wonder what's behind that door," Elrohir says.
As they both look down at the door, it starts to shimmer and fade, until only a blank wall is left.
Well, that is that, Elladan thinks. "What do we do now?" he says out loud.
"We may as well go outside and see if Grûgishl turns up again," Elrohir says. "She may know what's going on with that door."
"Hang on," Elladan suddenly wonders as he follows Elrohir outside, "What about the mushrooms?"
"The ones the Ranger was looking for." Elladan wishes he could remember why that might be important, but it eludes him. "Never mind, we'll sort that out when we wake up."
Elrohir gives him a distracted nod, then does a double-take. "This is a dream?"
"It feels like one," Elladan replies, though he still wonders why the mushrooms are important.
"When we wake up, then," Elrohir agrees and lies back in the grass.
Elladan follows his example. He still isn't feeling well. Did they eat bad mushrooms? That would explain it. He shrugs. If so, it can be sorted in the morning. They may as well get some rest out of their sleep.
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.