The Prancing Pony...full of drunk men, loud music, laughter, and a few fights brewing about here and there. The merrymaking of the race of men...they always seemed so happy. I scrutinized the people around to make sure no one would approach me before relaxing in my seat.
Just before I had reached Bree, it had begun to rain - a heavy downpour that did not look to be lifting any time soon. The pitter patter of the rain hitting the window was all I heard when I tuned out the noise around me.
'What is my purpose...' I thought, taking a drink from the mug that was bought to me. 'Help me...thêl anneth (little sister)...' I breathed out sadly, taking another drink from my mug.
Across from me, the chair screeching against the hard wood floor snapped me out of my musing, and the unoccupied seat suddenly became occupied.
"I am sorry sir...that seat is taken." I stated, gazing blankly out the window.
I looked up at the sound of my name and came face to face with an old man, an old man dressed all in gray. Long bushy eyebrows and a great long beard, and as our eyes met...it was as if I could see the wisdom of the world...and at that moment I knew who my guest was.
"Mithrandir..." I greeted with as much respect as I could, staring blankly back at the old wizard. "What did I do to acquire the company of Gandalf the Grey." I questioned, taking a leisurely sip from my mug.
"It has been a while Bellethiel, I have searched for you for quite some time my dear...the last we met you were heavily injured in the middle of no where, in a forest that held no light." Gandalf commented, halting a bar maid to order food for both him and myself. "I have looked to the city of Imladris...hoping to find you there, and when you weren't, I had a lovely conversation with an old friend of yours." Gandalf leaned forward. "They are greatly concerned about you my dear."
"I have no one to consider a friend Mithrandir..." I stated plainly, feeling an ache in my chest as I thanked the woman who quickly bought our food to our table.
"I beg to differ," Gandalf cut in, nodding to the bar maid. "Mellimeldisiel has been keeping track of you since you had left all those years ago. She has told me that you tend to stop by here when you have traveled far."
"Mellimeldisiel..." I scoffed, shaking my head in amusement. "How does she fair?"
"She is well, she said that if I were to find you by some miracle that I was to tell you to come back to the City of Imladris. Lord Elrond has opened his home to you if you ever needed a place to call home once more." Gandalf smiled sweetly. "Mellimeldisiel has told me the boys are getting out of control with you gone."
"I have no place to call home, and I do not think I will ever go back to Imladris. Let us please get to the point as to why you have interrupted my peace...and have seeked my company Mithrandir..." I stated, brushing the last part aside, losing interest the more we talked.
"Always straight to the point...that's what Mellimeldisiel said you would be the moment I cornered you." Gandalf chuckled, taking a bite of the bread on his plate. "I have helped you in the past and now I am asking if you would help me in an adventure of my own."
"My adventuring days are over Gandalf..." I said shaking my head.
"Do not lie to me Bellethiel," Gandalf bellowed, his voice raising to a thunderous volume that caused those around us to look our way. "Just several days ago you had interrupted an Orc raid, and before that you had stopped Goblins from destroying a village near the Misty Mountains. Do not lie to an old wizard Bellethiel, you may be old but I am still much older than you."
We sat in silence for quite some time, staring at the plate in front of us.
"I know how you have been alone for a very long time, possibly not much to an elf, but I think this adventure would be good for you. Bring back the former you, V-"
I slammed my hand upon the wooden table, causing a small crack in the wood.
"Do not call me that," I growled low. "Maybe at one time I carried that name, but after everything that has happened...never again."
"You cannot escape that name, Bellethiel. You earned that name and you should carry it with pride." Gandalf stated. "Your followers and sister gave you that name for your wisdom and leadership."
"I do not deserve that title, I ran away..." I sighed sadly.
"Well now you stop your running days." Gandalf stated, folding his hands on the top of the table. "Will you join me on this quest?" The wizard asked softly.
"It seems like you will not take 'no' as an answer you old fool." I chuckled, taking a huge swig from my mug. "What would this adventure of yours be Mithrandir...why would you need me, my purpose, my traveling companions and where will this adventure lead us to."
"All will be explained when everyone is gathered. We will be meeting several days from now...in a place called The Shire." Gandalf whispered.
"The Shire...?" I questioned skeptically. "Why would we meet at a quaint place such as the Shire?"
"I have business there with a Hobbit," Gandalf stated plainly. "If all goes well I will send word for you, just be close by."
"And...?" I pushed. "Well, how exactly am I going to find the place?"
"There will be a mark on the door." Gandalf stated about to get up.
As he walked pass me, I swiftly took a hold of his sleeve.
"Gandalf...why does it feel like you are planning something..." I asked, not taking my eyes off of my drink.
"You need to trust me on this Bellethiel." Gandalf smiled reassuringly, a mischievous glint in his eyes as he made his leave.
I watched as the old wizard made his leave before shaking my head, taking another sip from my mug.
"Annoying wizard..." I grumbled, breathing out a sigh when I had suddenly realized my situation. "The wizard...did not pay for his share..."