I own nothing but my OC.
Chapter 8: Rivendell
While Devin kept guard over the now breathing but still unconscious Frodo the others began to carefully cross the receding river to join them. First came Arwen, who was anxious to check him for herself.
"Although I do not know how you were able to accomplish such a thing, you have managed to save Frodo's life for the moment." She said while Aragorn helped Kitty and the hobbits across. "But he is fading. He is not going to last. We must get him to my father." Arwen looked up from the hobbit to Devin with the same clinical stare she had just been using while diagnosing Frodo. "What about you? How are you feeling? I do not know what you did, but touching your lips to his so soon after he was hit by the Black Breath was very dangerous. Some of it may have transferred unto you." Devin's eyes widened slightly in surprise. She hadn't even thought of that. Once she heard that Frodo needed CPR, her training had kicked in, and she hadn't thought of anything but saving the poor hobbit.
"Well, I feel a bit woozy—dizzy, I mean—and cold…" Devin admitted slowly. "But I'm pretty sure that has more to do with the fact I just swam across a cold river right before performing CPR. Honestly, I feel fine aside from needing a change of dry clothes."
"Then you have been very fortunate." Arwen said, though she still looked concerned and slightly puzzled. How could a human have performed such a miracle, especially without the aid of magic? She had sensed none coming from the girl. "
"Mr. Frodo! How is he? What happened?" Sam asked urgently as he rushed over to them, dropping to his knees beside his friend and master.
"Lady Devin has managed to help him breathe again, but his life remains endangered by his wound." Arwen said as Merry, Pippin, Kitty, and Aragorn came over to join them as well.
"What if someone rode ahead with him?" Kitty asked.
"I will take him to my father on Asfaloth." Arwen said, preparing to readjust the stirrups.
"The Riders may have been swept away for now, but we do not know how soon they may be able to regroup." Aragorn said. "Stay with the others. I will take him, and I will send horses for you upon reaching Rivendell."
"I am the faster rider." Arwen said. "I will take him."
"Just let her take him, Aragorn." Kitty said. " 'Cause she's obviously not going to let you win this one."
"The Riders should be scattered and formless for weeks at the least." Devin added. "The more time we waste arguing, the less time Lord Elrond will have to heal Frodo before he becomes a wraith."
Aragorn still seemed reluctant, but he nodded in agreement and allowed Arwen to mount her white elf-horse and speed Frodo away to her father.
"So… guess this means more walking for us, huh?" Kitty asked as they watched them ride off and disappear off into the distance with incredible speed.
"Don't worry." Devin told the anxious hobbits. "He'll be all right. You'll see."
Devin shivered as she pulled the blanket she had wrapped around herself tighter. Since all she had was the clothes on her back, Devin really had no choice but to trudge along in her wet clothes. The blanket had helped keep her warm for a while, but now that it was starting to become damp, too, after absorbing some of the water from her clothing. She really hoped she wasn't going to end up catching a cold. She sneezed.
"Dude. You okay?" Kitty asked, concerned.
"Yeah. I'll live." Devin replied glumly, sniffling. "Cross your fingers that I don't get hypothermia out here."
"Hypothermia?" Pippin asked.
"It's a condition in which the body's core temperature drops below that required for normal metabolism and body functions." Devin said.
"I see." He said.
"No you don't." Merry said.
"It's basically the opposite of hyperthermia—you know, heat exhaustion or heat stroke?" Kitty said.
"Oh." Pippin said. That made a bit more sense.
"I doubt I'll get more than a mild case, though." Devin said. "It's not winter yet. I'm actually more concerned I might get trench foot since my shoes and socks are soaking wet."
"Ugh. Can't you get gangrene from that?" Kitty asked, remembering the documentary their high school history teacher had made them watch on WWI.
"Yeah, that's why as soon as we stop for a break, I'm drying off my feet, wrapping them in a warm blanket, and wiggling my toes like crazy to make sure they're getting proper blood circulation before it starts to set in." Devin said. Doing this much walking in wet shoes would probably increase her chances of getting the condition. Aragorn stopped abruptly and glanced back at them.
"What will happen if you are stricken with this 'gangrene'?" He asked. Apparently he had been listening to them after all.
"Basically her feet will start to rot and end up needing to be amputated." Kitty said bluntly earning some horrified looks from the hobbits.
"Way to sugar-coat it, Kitty." Devin deadpanned. "That's just a worse-case scenario. I'm sure I'll be fine." But Aragorn wasn't taking any chances. He cut strips from one of the blankets, and wrapped her feet in them once they had been stripped of their wet socks and shoes; and Devin soon found herself sitting atop the pony, which was being led by Sam, while the others shouldered what was left of the supplies.
"You should say something sooner next time." Aragorn scolded them as he took the lead again.
"Um, sorry?" Devin said, blinking. "I guess we're just too used to the advanced medicine of our… land. Amputations aren't that common where we're from. They can usually fix severe infections before it comes to that."
"Your medicine must rival the Elves'." Sam said, amazed. "Can everyone use magic in your world like the kind you used to save Mr. Frodo?"
"Well, like we keep saying, we can't use magic, Sam." Devin replied calmly. "In fact, no one can. We're just normal humans. All I did was blow air into Frodo's lungs to remind them how they were supposed to work. His body did the rest. Think of the body as a machine, like a clock, only more complex. Once you know how the different parts work, it can be easy to fix."
"But you said you were a 'life guard'." He said. "That don't sound like an ordinary doctor to me."
"Because it isn't." She said. "Lifeguards aren't as schooled in healing illnesses as doctors. Anyone can do it. We're just called that because it's our job to sit on guard and watch over people while they're swimming in pools or at the beach. We get training to keep people safe and do our best to prevent them from getting hurt or drowning while we're on duty. While it's true I can help someone who's stopped breathing, and even restart their heart if necessary, but it's not perfect. How well it works depends on the strength of the person you're trying to help and what kind of shape they're in." Devin bowed her head sadly, remembering the heart attack victim she hadn't been able to save and the look on his kid's face. "No matter how much you want to, you can't save everyone."
"But you saved Mr. Frodo." Sam reminded her.
"Yeah…" She said softly with a small smile. "Yeah, I guess I did." Who would have thought?
On their second day of walking the path to Rivendell they were met by a group of elves on horseback that had been sent to intercept and welcome them. And, to the hobbits' and the girls' immense delight, the Elves had also been thoughtful enough to bring more food with them; and a change of dry clothes for Devin. This, along with some good news about Frodo's condition (Elrond was still working on him, but they had managed to get the injured hobbit there just in time.) served to lighten their spirits considerably; and once they had eaten their fill and regained some of their energy and strength, they joined the Elves on a swift ride to Rivendell that surely would have taken the girls and the hobbits at least five or six days on foot but only took the elf-horses a day and a half to cover.
To the surprise and joy of the hobbits, they were greeted by a familiar face upon entering Rivendell.
"Gandalf!" Merry and Pippin cried with delight upon seeing the wizened old wizard in grey waiting for them. Sam smiled, relieved to see that he was all right.
"I see you have made it safely to Rivendell, my friend." Aragorn said as he dismounted his elven steed. He walked over and clapped hands with his old friend. "You are a sight for sore eyes."
"And you are most welcome." Gandalf told him before glancing at the rest of his companions. His eyes stopped on Kitty and Devin. "I see there are some new faces mixed in with the familiar. I have many questions, but I suppose they can wait, for now. Come, you have been through much; and no doubt wish to rest before being pestered by a curious old man." He said, laying a hand on Aragorn's shoulder.
"Mr. Gandalf, sir." Sam said earnestly, fidgeting nervously, as he stepped forward after being helped down from the horse by the elf that had born him. "What about Mr. Frodo? Is he all right now?"
"Master Elrond is still tending to Frodo at the moment." Gandalf said. His expression clouded slightly as he was reminded of the grave danger Frodo had been in upon his arrival at Rivendell. "But he is expected to pull through. You need not worry, Samwise Gamgee. Your master is in good hands." Sam and the other hobbits visibly relaxed upon hearing this, obviously relieved now that they knew both Frodo and Gandalf would be all right. Pippin yawned as a sudden feeling of sleepiness came over him. He could do with a nice long nap after everything he had been through. They all could. Kitty, Devin, and the hobbits let the elves lead them away to show them to their rooms so they could have a warm bath and rest while Aragorn remained behind to have a word with Gandalf.
"I must speak to Lord Elrond once he has finished tending to Frodo." Aragorn said.
"Is it about those two girls who came with you?" Gandalf asked, furrowing his brow. "Arwen spoke briefly of what she knew of them. She said the smaller one breathed life back into Frodo after he had stopped breathing?"
"Yes." Aragorn said. "She claims there was no magic involved, and that anyone could do it; but I have never seen the like of it in all my travels. I do not sense any evil or malice in them, and they have helped me protect the ring-bearer and his companions without once trying to take the Ring. I do not believe them to be enemy spies, but much about them remains hidden. They carry with them many strange items with mysterious powers, and they speak of a land that is not on any map in Middle Earth. They claim to hail from a place called 'America'."
"America?" Gandalf asked. "Indeed, that name is strange to me. It is of a foreign tongue that I have never encountered before. But I trust your judgment. If you say they are not the enemy then I will believe you, but the uncertainty of their origins is troubling during such turbulent times. In light of what the one called Devin has done for Frodo we shall let them have a chance to rest before questioning them tomorrow. In the meantime I would appreciate it if you could tell me all that you have come to know of them, however little it may be."
In the warmth and safety of her comfortable bed, for a few brief moments, Devin thought the hard and perilous journey she and Kitty had endured after falling into Middle Earth had been nothing more than a dream; but as she rolled over and stared up at the intricately carved ceiling, it began to dawn on her just how wrong that assumption was. With wide eyes Devin shot up in bed and glanced around her room, taking in the elvish architecture and furniture surrounding her. Unless she had been kidnapped by some LARPers with way too much time on their hands, she was still in Middle Earth. It had all been real. Her current surroundings and sore muscles were proof of that. With a groan Devin pushed herself up and out of the bed. Now that she was up she might as well get dressed, find Kitty, and figure out how they were going to ask Gandalf and Elrond for help getting back to their world without sounding like a couple of complete fruit-loops. She walked over to the wardrobe, which had been equipped with elvish-style clothing in her petite size, and selected a violet dress and matching slippers to change into.A soft knock came at the door, and a female elf glided into the room only a few minutes after she had finished getting dressed and brushing her hair with the silver brush they had left out for her. She couldn't find her bag anywhere. She hoped it was with Kitty.
"Lord Elrond requests your presence." The she-elf said.
"Um, okay…" Devin replied a little less eloquently, and followed the elf out, feeling a bit awkward next to the inhumanly graceful being that was now guiding her through the halls. Devin was pretty sure she would need a map and plenty of 'your are here' signs to find her way around this elegant maze on her own.She was led into a room that appeared to be some kind of grand study. The walls were lined from floor to ceiling with books and scrolls. Her dad would have loved it. Already seated at a large beautiful oak table in the middle of the room was Kitty. Devin's guide excused herself and asked her to wait there with her friend.
"Yo." Kitty said as Devin crossed the room to take a seat next to her. "I see you got the special summons, too?"
"Yeah." Devin said, glancing around. "I guess they want to question us."
"I have to say this is the nicest interrogation room I've ever seen." Kitty commented also looking around. "What are they going to do, read to us if we resist? Is it going to be all 'Elrond in the library with a candlestick' if we don't talk?"
"Well, if we were ever going to talk now would be the time." Devin said. "And not just because of what they might so to us if we don't. If we want them to help us get back to our world, eventually we're going to have to tell them the truth about our origins… Again, just don't mention anything about them being 'fictional characters', all right? I really don't think they'd take that too well."
"What if they ask how the story ends?" Kitty asked. Before Devin could answer the doors to the study opened again and Elrond and Gandalf entered the room. "OMG!" Kitty whispered excitedly, caught off-guard by the elf lord's appearance. "Is it just me or does her look like that Agent Smith guy from The Matrix?"
"Um, yeah… I'm gonna go with spatial genetic multiplicity for this one." Devin whispered. Kitty couldn't help but grin. She loved it when Doctor Who could be applied to explain real life situations. Elrond and Gandalf stopped before them with raised eyebrows.
"What is this 'spatial genetic multiplicity' of which you speak?" Elrond asked.
"Wow. Try saying that five times fast." Kitty commented.
"It means an echo and repetition of physical traits across a, uh... time rift." Devin explained slowly. She should have known he'd hear them with his sharp elf-ears. "You look identical to someone from our world, but he's human."
"Really?" Elrond asked, arching his brow, as he exchanged a look with Gandalf. "Your 'world'? Not your 'land'?"
"We were kind of trying to keep a low profile until we got here." Kitty said with a shrug.
"We thought telling people we were from another land would sound less crazy than the truth, which is that we're actually from another world entirely." Devin explained. "Us ending up here was complete accident. To be honest, we aren't even sure how or why it happened. But we were hoping the two of you might be able to help us get back home."
"How did it happen, from your perspective?" Gandalf asked curiously.
"One minute we were walking through a forest in our world then we fell into a river, and when we crawled back out of it we were here. That's how we met Aragorn. He was camping nearby." Kitty said.
"Did you try jumping back into the river?" He asked. The girls blinked and stared at him for a moment before looking at each other.
"Why didn't you think of that?" Kitty asked Devin.
"Why is it my job to think of everything?" Devin asked.
"Because you're the responsible one, duh." Kitty retorted. Devin rolled her eyes, feeling slightly chagrined, while Elrond and Gandalf appeared to be slightly amused and bemused by their little exchange, and filed that last statement away for future reference.
"Anyway, we were wondering if this might've had anything to do with it." Devin said, removing the green beryl crystal necklace from around her neck. She held it out for the elf-lord and wizard to see for themselves. "We heard green beryl was an elf-stone in this world, so we were thinking maybe it had special powers?"
"This stone alone would never be enough to accomplish such a feat." Elrond said as he examined it. "Did you acquire it from the Elves of your world?"
"We don't have elves in our world." Devin replied. "Or dwarves, or any other kind of magical race. We come from a world of Men. A world without magic of any kind. That's why we're so puzzled as to how we could've ended up in a world full of real magic." Elrond and Gandalf exchanged a glance, and the wizard set the girls' backpack down on the table before them.
"If what you say is true then it would help to explain the strange contents of this bag." The wizard said. After examining the foreign items in it, such as the girls' cell phones, lighter, and ipods, they had discovered that they not only possessed zero magical energy or qualities, but much of the materials they had been made of were unlike any known substance in their world; and the inner mechanisms of the small machines were beyond the skill of Men, and possibly even of the skill of dwarves, to create. "I hope you do not mind, but we took the liberty of examining some of your more outlandish belongings. We cannot afford to be too careful. We are experiencing some very troubled times in out world."
"Yeah, we know." Kitty said carelessly. "It's cool. Just do what you gotta. We'd be freaked too if some evil overlord was trying to conquer and enslave us all."
"I believe that statement brings us to another point we wish to discuss." Elrond said. "If you are not from this world then how is that you have come to know so much about it? Are you seers who possess the gift of foresight?" Kitty looked at Devin. She wasn't touching this one. Devin sighed and tried to do her best to explain without imploding their minds or world.
"Well, we're not so much 'seers' as we are… 'readers'." She replied carefully. "In our world there is a series of special books that contain extensive knowledge of this world and all its major happenings: things that have happened, and things that have not yet come to pass, from your perspective. We have read these books. My father has always loved the legends and tales of Middle Earth, and he passed that love on to me." She said, smiling softly at the memory of her late father.
"Yeah. She's a second generation Tolkien fan—a genuine pedigree in nerdiness and geekery." Kitty added, earning herself an elbow in the side from her friend.
"Which is how you knew of Aragorn's true identity and of Frodo and the Ring?" Gandalf asked.
"We know more than that, Olórin." Devin said meaningfully, earning surprised looks from both the wizard and Elrond.
"It would seem so." Gandalf replied calmly with a gleam in his wise eyes. Only a very select few in Middle Earth knew his true name outside of his fellow Istari.
"But we don't know everything." She added quickly. "For instance, we have no idea what would happen if we were to tell you what we know about the events surrounding the current war of the Ring. It's possible nothing may come of it, but I believe it is more likely that by doing so, despite our good intentions, something might change; and however seemingly insignificant, it might unintentionally have a negative effect on the outcome of this part of your history. We don't want to be responsible for that, so we ask that you allow us to keep as much of what we know about future events to ourselves as possible, unless absolutely necessary. We want you to win."
"Cross-dimensional time travel is a lot more complicated than it might seem." Kitty added. "Especially since you guys already seem to be slightly off-kilter." Devin shot her friend a sharp look for bringing it up.
"Indeed?" Elrond asked exchanging another look with Gandalf.
"Actually, we've already noticed some discrepancies between what we thought was supposed to happen and what has actually come to pass." Devin said hesitantly. "For one thing, we heard from Aragorn that the shards of Narsil have been left in your care, and he doesn't seem to have any intention of having the sword reforged. But from what we read, he should have kept the heirloom in his possession, and he should have been on his way here to have it reforged when he encountered the hobbits. Also, you did not send Arwen out to find them after receiving news that the hobbits were traveling without Gandalf. It was a male elf named Glorfindel who found them. And Frodo did not stop breathing. His wound was severe, and he lost consciousness, but he was brought to you without needing mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. And of course Kitty and I were never here." She explained, pausing to take a breath. "But you seem to be back on track now. Frodo should be waking up tomorrow morning at about ten o'clock."
"Oh really?" Gandalf asked. "Ten o'clock, you say?" That was helpfully specific.
"And once all the other guests have finished arriving, you'll be able to talk about how to get rid of the Ring." Kitty added.
"Guests?" Elrond asked.
"Yep. Peeps from Gondor, dwarves, and some elves from Mirkwood. They've all come to talk to you about stuff relating to Sauron and the Ring, whether they know it or not." Kitty replied.
"Kitty, what did we just say about revealing too much about the future?" Devin asked, resisting the urge to face palm.
"Oh. Oops, my bad." Kitty said with a sheepish grin. "I guess they get a freebie."
"Anyway, given what we know, I think it would be best for everyone if the two of us just went back to our own world before we have a chance to screw up yours because I don't think we'd handle being tortured too well; and if the Enemy gets his hands on one of us, he'll know everything we do. Fortunately he doesn't know about us yet, so he won't be looking for us." Devin said. "We understand you have your hands full dealing with the Ring situation here, but when you have time…"
"You would like for us to find a way to send you back home." Gandalf finished for her.
"Yes, if it's not too much trouble." Devin said. The wizard and Elrond took a moment to consider everything they had just heard. These two girls were indeed strange, and their story seemed rather far-fetched; but it would explain the mysterious items they carried and their odd mannerisms. As Aragorn had said, there was no evil in them, and they appeared to be genuine.
"Very well." Elrond said at length. "Once council has been held and the fate of the Ring decided, we shall do what we can to help you. In the meantime the two of you are welcome to stay here." The two girls relaxed and let out a sigh of relief. Thank God for that.
"Awesome." Kitty said. "Now, anyone else in the mood for second breakfast?" Gandalf chuckled and shook his head. No wonder they had been able to get along so splendidly with the hobbits.