A Second Chance

Chapter 2

After seven and a half (approximately) minutes, Emma decided that she disliked dungeons. Immensely.

She had been dragged back to a huge palace made of roots and hauled across bridges made of roots, all the while observing her surroundings, most of which were made of roots.

Eventually, they had reached a large, slightly dirty, a lot damp, semi-dark room. It was made mostly of roots. What was with the roots? Not that she minded, but this was a little ridiculous. Of course, she then noticed the cells and deduced that this room was a dungeon.

Unfortunately for the guards that were dragging her, she had talked the entire time they were moving. "Why am I being brought to a dungeon?" she had asked.

No answer.

"Does that elf king plan on releasing me at some point?"

Still no answer. Disgruntled by her lack of response, Emma had tried a slightly ridiculous question. "What are your names?"

Nothing.

"I'll have to give you names if you don't tell me your real ones."

Silence.

"Fine then! I'll call you on the left Carl, and you on the right Zippy."

This time, both of the guards had rolled their eyes, though the one on the left looked faintly amused. Score 1 Emma. she had thought smugly.

Emma sighed and thunked her head onto her knees. It was so boring down here... She heard a creak and saw the guard she had designated as Zippy, walking towards her with a tray.

"Oh yay! Food!" she shouted joyfully.

Zippy rolled his eyes and opened the door, shoving the tray inside. Emma grabbed it and immediately started snarfing it down. Looking up, she saw that he was still standing there (he looked a little disgusted). Raising her eyebrows she asked, "And you want...?"

He shook his head a little (probably to get the disgusting image of her eating out) and said, "The Elvenking wishes to speak with you when you are finished... eating."

Stuffing another bite of salad in her mouth (just to annoy him) she said, "Ok. Almost done. Though I do not plan on cooperating."

Zippy looked like he was about to say something, but seemed to think better of it, choosing to just stand there silently and watch her eat. Emma briefly thought about how it was a little creepy to have somebody just stand there and watch her eat. Who does that? She mentally sniggered, apparently elvish guards named Zippy did. She wondered how many elves were named Zippy...

Banishing the thought lest she burst into hysterical laughter, Emma got up and said, "All done. Bring me to his Royal Eyebrowness." Zippy scowled, but nevertheless opened the cell door and grabbed her arm, guiding her towards the dungeon door.

"Hey, hey, hey! No need to man-handle me! Or is it elf-handle? Do you know?" Emma said. Zippy just rolled his eyes.

Outside they were joined by Carl, and Emma said brightly, "Oh, hi Carl! I was just asking Zippy here if your term for being roughly jerked around was man-handled or elf-handled. Would you happen to know the answer? Zippy seems a little slow."

Carl bowed a little, looking extremely amused, "Well my lady, if Zippy seems a little slow, then I shall indeed answer the question. I believe the term is man-handled, though now that I think about it, I am not sure why."

Zippy groaned and said, "Please don't encourage her, Arntel."

Carl (he would always be Carl to Emma now) feigned surprise, "Why Zippy! I was under the impression that my name was Carl!"

Zippy face-palmed and groaned again. Emma and Carl were still sniggering, when the reached the throne room

Falling silent, Emma gazed around the room in awe. Yeah, it was still mostly made of roots, but it was still pretty awesome. At the center, there was an enormous throne made out of... were those antlers? Well, he did have a giant elk...

Sitting on the throne and looking especially pompous, was Thranduil the King of Smirkwood (Emma was pretty sure that that was what she was going to call this forest from now on).

Zippy and Carl stepped off to the side and the Elvenking said snarkily, "Do like your room?"

Emma curtsied dramatically and replied sweetly, "Of course I do!"

Eying her suspiciously, Thranduil cut straight to the chase. "What were you doing in my forest?"

Emma shrugged. "No idea." Well, it was the truth.

Raising an eyebrow he said bemusedly, "No idea? So you do not know how you got into a tree in my forest?"

"Nope."

"Where are you from?"

Emma thought a moment, wondering if she should tell the truth or not. This was, after all, Middle Earth. They had no idea that Earth existed. Deciding against telling the truth, she said, "I live in Rivendell." Emma had only watched the movies a couple of times, so she had minimal knowledge of this world. She had a vague recollection of Rivendell being somewhat important, and having an elf with grumpy eyebrows, so she crossed her fingers and hoped for the best.

Thranduil waved his hand in the general direction of Carl and Zippy. "Send word to Imladris that one of their own has found herself inexplicably in our forest."

Zippy dashed off, but not before Emma could yell after him, "See ya around Zippy!"

Thranduil opened his mouth to say something, when he seemed to do a double take. "Did you just call him Zippy?" he asked.

Emma began to examine her finger-nails, feeling boredom set in. "Yup."

"Why?"

"It's his name."

"But-"

Emma said suddenly, "I have a complaint about your room service."

Thranduil raised his eyebrows (what is with those eyebrows?).

Taking that as a sign to continue, Emma scowled, "There weren't any waffles."

Thranduil looked mildly confused. "What is a waffle?"

"You don't know what a waffle is?" Emma gasped in mock horror. She knew full well that he probably didn't, which was exactly why she brought it up.

Thranduil shook his head.

Deciding to confuse him even more, she said, "Well it's a square shaped thing, made out of different stuff, cooked on this thingy, and you put different condiments onto it and eat it."

The Elvenking looked so confused that she couldn't help herself and she burst into the hysterical laughter she had been holding back for the last fifteen minutes (it had started to build up when he had raised his eyebrow). She almost felt sorry for Thranduil... Almost.

Thranduil rubbed his face tiredly. "I've changed my mind, I can't deal with you right now. You over there, bring her back to her cell."

Carl stepped forward and took her arm, leading her back towards the slightly dirty and a lot damp dungeons.


Several hours later, Emma woke up from a nice, long (though, uncomfortable) nap and yawned. She scowled when she looked at the bars of her cell. After she had woken up a little bit more, she thought about how she could get out.

She yawned again, scratched her head, and lo and behold, there was a hairpin (what a happy coincidence). Emma grinned to herself, remembering all of the times her and her cousin would pick the lock of the cupboard that the candy was held in. Good times. Well, unless the got into an argument over the chocolate, then it would get a little gritty...

The gaps between the bars were just big enough for her to fit her hand through, and she stuck the pin in the lock, wiggling it around.

After about five minutes, she was rewarded with a click and the cell door swung open. Still grinning a little, she carefully stepped out of her cell. Looking around furtively, she dashed to the door of the dungeon. Sticking her head out, she looked both ways and chose the opposite direction of the throne room. Unfortunately, she couldn't remember the direction towards the main entrance, so, she ended up just winging it.

After making several random turns, Emma realized that she was hopelessly lost. She slowly spun in a circle, hoping to recognize something. Nope. No bells went off. She sighed. There was only one thing that she hated more than being lost, and that was spiders. Oh how she loathed those disgusting, black (though the white ones were worse), hairy, leggy...

"Well, well, well. What do we have here?"

Emma let out a small scream and spun around, colliding with a solid something that she recognized to be somebody's chest. She leaped almost a foot backwards with a slightly quieter scream (more of a squeak) and there, with his eyebrows, twig crown, and overall sassy expression, was the now loathed (Emma had decided that that was how she felt about him shortly after her second encounter with him) King of Smirkwood.



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