Once Again I

Day Three Of Darkness

They walked among the pillars for some hours till the Hobbits had all grown too weary to move another step. They leaned themselves against a massive pillar, it was freezing in the great halls caused by a powerful draft. They stayed as close together as they could, Gimli and Legolas sat closest to Nymeria. She had, with out words, taken them as her brothers.

Gandalf had allowed for even more light to shine upon the halls."I do believe," Gandalf started, "that we are above Dimrill Gate." Gandalf dulled the light and the shining surfaces dimmed. Nymeria in her mind heard the song the Balin sang to her often, so often that she sang it to herself without noticing. She felt the song fill her lungs, and spilled from lips; Gimli knew the song and in his deep voice sang, contrasting her light voice,

'A King he was on carven throne

In many-pillared halls of stone

With golden roof and silver floor,

And runes of power upon the door.

The light of sun and star and moon

In shining lamps of crystal hewn

Undimmed by cloud or shade of night

There shone for ever fair and bright.'

'The word is grey, the mountains old

The forge's fire is ashen-cold;

no harp is wrung, no hammer falls

The darkness dwells in Durin's halls;

The Shadow lies upon his tomb In Moria, in Khazad-dûm

But still the sunken stars appear

In dark and windless Mirrormere;

There lies his crown in water deep,

Till Durin Wakes again from sleep.'

"I do like that song." Sam spoke, "Perhaps I should learn it. All the singing of the lamps does make the darkness seem all the more dim." Nymeria cast her eyes into the darkness, it did seem slightly darker. She tried to find the creature Gollum that lingered in the darkness, the pity did not overcome her desire to protect those he would slaughter to have possession of the Ring.

Nymeria faded in and out of consciousnesses for the entire night, the rest of the Fellowship seem to sleep with ease. She was the first one up when dawn came.

It was a true dawn, the light of the sun had found its way into the dark halls. No one was happier to see the light than Legolas, his eyes were upon it the whole while that the others packed their things. Nymeria thought it odd to see him in such a way, he looked like a pup who had been told to stay in place while a steak was laid just out of its reach.

"Come, come." Gandalf command, "We shall follow that light, I think that we are closer to the end than I believed."

"Thank the Valar." Nymeria breathed quietly; Aragorn clasped her shoulder, a half-hearted attempt at encouraging. She mimicked the others and began to follow Gandalf. Frodo was on her right, she walked at a slower pace so that Frodo would not have to push himself to keep up. They continued to talk like they had the day before of their childhoods. He was curious of her would, and the idea that there are an infinite amount of worlds as real as the one beneath his feet yet all different and unique. The conversation was so quiet that the others could only hear murmurs of their talks.

Not that their words were in any need of concealment, they were just so invested in the conversation that they did not pay attention the the volume, or the lack of. Soon their talks simmered down and they strode together in silence. That was until Frodo had to have the answer to a question that he had wished to know since Bilbo confessed his love for her,

"Nymeria," she cast her gaze downwards to his blue eyes, "did...did you love Bilbo." She was a bit taken aback at the boldness of this question. The answer to which she knew, and would not substitute for a lie.

"Yes, I would have married him if he did ask." She fumbled with her words, "I did not tell him, I did not even know that he felt such for me. Truth be told I did not admit to myself that I did love him till it was too late."

"It is a pity." Frodo seemed sad by it.

"Do not be sad, if I did stay in Middle Earth you would have not have been adopted by Bilbo; and then where would we be." The silence then returned.

While following the light they were led beyond the Northern Archway. Just beyond that was a square chamber that was poorly lit. A slab of stone two feet high rested in the middle of it, a the light from the surface was cast down upon the rectangular stone.

"It looks like a tomb." Frodo spoke without a thought, he did not realize that he was right. Nymeria quickened her feet, she moved far ahead of the rest of the Fellowship to see this stone.

Upon the top were Dwarvish Runes carved deeply into the stone. Ori taught her how to read the Dwarf's secret language long ago, and she knew what was written. Sorrow overtook her, she could not speak and she could not cry. Gandalf had come round to read what was there,



"So he is dead." Nymeria forced out her words, "I feared it was so." Gimli stood beside her, he cast his hood over his face. Nymeria rested on her knees and threw her arms about Gimli, he placed an arm about her as well. Together they mourned like family.

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