Day Two Of Darkness
Nymeria tiredly trudged along behind Pippin as the Fellowship moved through massive caverns and tapering bridges.
"Where are all of the jewels," Merry questioned,"and the gold and silver." Gandalf pointed to the streaks of silvery white embedded in the stone walls of the mine
"The wealth of Moria is not in gold, or jewels, but Mithril, Mr. Peregrin Took." They came to a narrow path that jutted out over a great cavern. "Bilbo had a shirt of Mithril rings that Thorin gave him." Gandalf recalled:
"Aye," Gimli concurred with Gandalf, "that was a kingly gift."
"Yes. I never told him, but its worth was greater than the value of The Shire!" Nymeria saw Frodo shift at this his hand upon his breast, so that is where the Mithril shirt went Nymeria realized. She did smile at this, Bilbo cared for him greatly. The narrow path had turned into steep steps, none the less narrow. Aragorn the tallest of them all had trouble scaling those stairs. Pippin's footing failed him for a moment and he almost went over the edge of the steps.
"Pippin!" Merry called out to his friend, Nymeria was close to him and hooked her hands over his shoulders and pulled him far back, away from the edge of the stairs.
"Thank you, Nym." He gasped, heart still racing, as one's heart would be after and experience where they almost died.
"Your welcome, mind your footing. These steps are treacherous, Pippin." She urged him on keeping close eye upon both him and Merry. They reminded her of Fili and Kili, and both of them had died and she did bring them back. If the same happened the Merry or Pippin she had no life to give to resurrect them, so a keen eye kept on them was a precaution she made careful notice to take.
The stairs led to a crossroads of sorts, three doorways stood before them. Nymeria tunes her eyes upon Gandalf, his face had nothing but confusion painted upon it.
"I've no memory of this place..." he murmured
They all came to a rest before these three doors, a little rest in any other place might be welcome, but in this place of inky darkness not one of them wished to stop. Nymeria if she knew the way would run to it, she would run for days without food or water if the way took her out of this place.
Boromir had kept his distance, he did not wish others to think that he was a threat to her honor. It was offensive to him, the possibility that he was a threat to her, he was no craven, never would he dream of doing such a thing to her. He looked to her, she had laid out her sleeping roll and tried to find rest; he could see that she had found it when the movement of her rib cage slowed.
"You care for her, do you not?" Legolas had crept to his side with no sound, he made Boromir jump and reach for his sword before realizing the voice was not that of a foe.
"You startled me, friend." Boromir settled himself, moving his hand away from his sword, "You should not do such things in this dark." Legolas glided down to the ground to sit beside him.
"I do believe that she cares for you as well. She would have voiced her disinterest long ago if she did not."
"I have not a faintest idea of what you speak of." Boromir lied through his teeth, "Nymeria is no more than a friend, and I am sure that she see me in the same way." Legolas gave him an almost smug look
"I am sure you do know what I speak of. I am no fool, so do not take me for one. Your love for her is plain to see." Their eyes looked to her sleeping body, Legolas's voice turned dark as the mines of Moria, "Let me warn you, Boromir Son of Denethor, if she does love you as I suspect and you hurt her in any manner, worlds of pain are promised to you. Nymeria is as dear to me as forest of my birth, she is my sister in almost every way but blood." With his Elven grace, Legolas moved swiftly away to the far side of the room. Boromir than thought,
'Who in this world does not love this great Lady?'
Nymeria had fallen asleep, but when she woke her body was still sore and her mind still ached. Her eyes were dry and her head ached, all she truthfully did want was a warm bath and a hot meal served with cool wine. It was not only her that felt this way, all of the Fellowship had this carved onto their faces.
Frodo stood on the outskirts of the group, his bright blue eyes were cast down at his feet. She packed her things, so that if they had to leave she could quickly grab her things, and moved over to Frodo. He welcomed her with a small smile, she then began to ask of the distant relations that Bilbo had once told her of.
The Sackville Baggins were still as they had been sixty years ago. They were still scheming to get ownership of Bag End. Otho Sackville Baggins had died just before Frodo had left the Shire; that had not deterred his wife Lobelia from her obnoxious attempts to gain possession of Bag End. The casual talk settled them both, it made the darkness seem a little lighter.
"Are we lost?" Pippin asked Merry with concern.
"No." Merry replied in an agitated tone.
"I think we are."
At this Sam turned, and in agitation fumed, "Shh! Gandalf's thinking." For thirty seconds the stone room was silent till Pippin spoke again,
"What!" Merry snapped
"I'm hungry." Nymeria, gave a half hearted laugh still sitting by Frodo. The Hobbit had turned around and looked down the steep stairs that lay behind them. Something moved in the darkness, creeping up the stairs was a strange creature. Nymeria could not get a good view of it, all she saw was a sickly thin body, and two lantern like eyes. Frodo grasped her forearm moving them both away from the stairs. He ran to Gandalf to tell him of what they did see slithering in the darkness; Nymeria took her place just close enough to hear Gandalf and Frodo talk.
"There's something down there."
"It's Gollum." explained Gandalf
"Gollum!" So that was the creature that Bilbo had encountered in the Goblin Tunnels, Nymeria was almost tempted to go and take a second look at the creature.
"He's been following us for three days." Gandalf announced, so that was what crept in the dark that made Nymeria's heart uneasy.
"He escaped the dungeons of Barad-Dûr!" Frodo was stunned
"Escaped?" Gandalf paused and turned to Gandalf, "Or was set loose and now the Ring has drawn him here. He won't ever be rid of his need for it. He hates and loves the Ring, as he hates and loves himself. Smeagol's life is a sad story." Gandalf shifted, "Yes, Smeagol, he was once called, before the Ring found him. Before it drove him mad." Nymeria felt for the creature, Gollum, how fated had cursed him.
"It's a pity Bilbo didn't kill him when he had the chance." Frodo spoke in an almost venomous way, it shocked Nymeria; how so very out of character for the sweet tempered Frodo.
"Pity?" the wise wizard questioned, "It was pity that stayed Bilbo's hand." and then he spoke the greatest wisdom that Nymeria had ever heard, "Many that live deserve death and many that die, deserve life. Can you give it to them Frodo? Do not be too eager to deal out death and judgement Even the very wise cannot see all ends. My heart tells me that Gollum has some part to play, yet for good or ill... before this is over. The pity of Bilbo, may rule the fate of many."
"I wish the Ring had never come to me. I wish none of this had happened." Frodo whispered so sadly that Nymeria wished to comfort him, to hold him and let him know that everything shall be fine. Gandalf was the one to comfort him,
"So do all who live to see such times, but that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us. There are other forces at work in this world, Frodo, besides the will of evil. Bilbo was meant to find the Ring, in which case you also were meant to have it and that is an encouraging thought." All was silent for a moment, "Oh! Its that way." Gandalf stood, illuminated staff in hand and moved to the door on the furthest left.
"He's remembered." Merry excitedly jumped up, everyone quickly grabbed their weapons and packs.
"No," Gandalf answered Merry,"but the air doesn't smell so foul down here. If in doubt, Meriadoc, always follow your nose." They walked behind Gandalf one by one. The winding passage went on for no more than ten minutes, when it came to an an the Company found themselves in a great kingdom.
"Let me risk a little more light." Gandalf let his staff grow brighter,"Behold the great realm and dwarf city of Dwarrowdelf." A far as one could see, and further there stood great columns, thicker than ancient trees and reaching up to an unseen ceiling.Nymeria's heart swelled that the beauty of it all, Sam gaped,
"There's an eye-opener and no mistake."
Now walk in the great halls began, they still had two days to go. Nymeria's spirit sunk at the realization that for forty-eight hours she would be here away from light, her suspicions grew, as well, when she did see no sign of the Dwarves. They were not here any longer, were they? She did not wish to dash the hopes of Gimli, so she bit back her tears of sorrow.
'They are still here, they must be.' Nymeria thought, 'they cannot be gone.'