Once Again I

The Heart Of The Forest

The sun rose in the East, the pale light danced over the Nymeria's eyelids. She was so comfortable that she did not want to move, still she was able to rouse herself from the fogginess of sleep. Golden sunlight of Spring danced around the talan, new life was about this forest.

Nymeria woke the Hobbits as gently as she could, Frodo was the easiest to wake but Sam was by far the hardest to wake up. She kept shaking his shoulders and he kept grunting and pushing her away. Just as she was about to give up when Rúmil, one of the two elves that stayed, brought over a cold cup of water. He handed it to her and made tipping motions with his hand, suggesting that she pour the water over Sam. Shrugging she positioned the cup over Sam and tipped the cup.

Sam bolted up and scrambled away from Nymeria, he was in sock but he was awake. Everyone who was not Sam or Nymeria began to laugh, he pouted and she just carried on about her business after handing Rúmil the empty cup. Sam wiped the water away from his face and forgave Nymeria in a second, he even laughed at the humor of it.

The four Hobbits gathered the gear that they had carried up, and the Elves tossed down the rope ladder, Rúmil was the first down and Nymeria followed in suit. She was on the ground in a quick time, there the other four members of the Fellowship were waiting for them.

Boromir was glad to see her, he had found it difficult to be calm without her in his sights. While she was getting her gear bags she did not notice his stare, she had left her hair down that morning and the red strands soaked in the sunlight and then radiated it outwards. In that moment he knew his love was certain, but he knew not of what her love for him was. Their eyes met and for a moment Boromir lost himself in the depth of her eyes, all he wanted was the taste of her honey lips.

"We will follow the River Celebrant till we reach the crossing point." Haldir announced and began to lead the group away from the singing Nimrodel.

They walked along the same path as yesterday, the Nimrodel turned into the fast moving Celebrant River. Along the path there were the footprints of the Orcs from the night before.

Within a hour of walking Haldir stopped by the edge of the river.

"There is one of my people across the water, though you may not see him." He gave a high pitched whistle, from the trees came a grey clad Elf. He tossed back his hood letting his long golden hair glint in the morning sun. Haldir tied a rope to a strong tree then,with great precision threw the rope to the Elf opposite the wide fast moving river who tied it to another tree. They repeated this process only fasting the second rope higher.

Haldir crossed first, he walked over the lower rope while holding on to the higher rope for balance. Nymeria was a bit nervous about this makeshift bridge but when told to go went. The rope was strong and Nymeria had good balance. When the taller member of the Fellowship crossed they lowered the high rope so that the Hobbits and Gimli could cross. Pippin had the easiest crossing, while Sam had the most difficult crossing, he held on to the rope with both

hands so tight that his knuckles turned white.

They all stood for a moment on the shore, letting Sam calm his heart. The Elves untied the ropes, Rúmil who had stayed on the other side untied the last rope, slung it over his shoulder then smiled and waved farewell. He turned back towards the Nimrodel to return to his watch.

"You have all now entered the Naith of Lórien, or Gore as some may say. Strangers are not permitted to see the secrets of the Naith, few are even allowed to set foot here." Haldir spoke.

"As agreed, here we will blindfold the Dwarf, the rest will be allowed to walk free."

Gimli protested, "That agreement was made without my consent. I am no spy, why should I have to walk as a prisoner. I have never had any dealings with the servants of the Enemy, and I have done no harm to your people. I am a likely as Legolas to betray you." He was prideful and felt this treatment to be humiliating.

"I have done much in letting you come this far." Haldir explained

"Then I will go back and seek my own land." Gimli planted his feet in the ground Nymeria not wishing for Gimli to leave spoke in her silver voice

"Blindfold me as well, I am a friend of the Dwarves of Erebor, and Gimli's father. So in effect I am just as much of a threat to you as he is." This drew curious glances from Haldir, and surprised gazes from the Fellowship. Aragorn stepped forth

"It would be unfair, in this we are equals. Should one of us be blinded, we all will be blinded."

The Fellowship agreed to this, even Legolas would go blindfolded. Quickly and with great care the Elves bound the Fellowship.

"I shall claim full amends for every fall and stubbed toe, if you do not lead us well." Gimli spoke gruffly.

"You will have no claim," Haldir responded, "I shall lead you well, and the paths are smooth and straight." Haldir was to lead them by string through the paths. Legolas was so upset about not being able to look upon the trees Nymeria could feel his emotions without even being able to see him.

The paths were smooth just as Haldir had said, Nymeria did not stumble once. As they walk about the paths they could feel the peace of the wood seep into their bodies. All of the pain of the world had been taken from Nymeria's mind and only memories of great joy did remain. An old magic in this was what did this kindness to them.

Nymeria listened to the conversation between Legolas and Haldir, they talked of the fair woods that they now walked in. She felt her other senses were heightened now that she was deprived of her sight. The sharp smell of the grass was all around her, and the sound of birds filled the air and echoed off of the trees. She felt as if she were in Rivendell, but there was a memory of ancient things. Here in Lórien it seemed as if those ancients things still thrived, it rang all around her.

It seemed as if they walked for ages but they did not grow weary. The sun was so bright that its light passed the blindfold, the soft wind ran his fingers through her hair and cooled her.

In a moment the soft whispering wind was overpowered by the sounds of many voices around them. Nymeria listened closer trying to see if she could distinguish any words, but this was the speech of Elves, and she did not know their words. Their lovely light mummers hushed for a moment to allow Haldir to speak,

"They bring me news of the slaughter of the Orcs, also they bring a message from the Lord and Lady of Galadhrim. You are all to walk free." He went to Gimli and untied his blindfold first, "Look on us now with friendly eyes! Look and be glad, for you are the first Dwarf to behold the trees of the Naith of Lórien since Durin's Day." Nymeria's eyes were soon free to look upon the world around her again.

They were in an open space, on the left was a large mound covered in deep green grass. On top of the hill grew two circles of trees, one circling the other. The outer had a bark of snowy white and had no leaves; the inner trees were Mallorn trees and they stood tall in an array of pale gold, in the very center stood a great tree with a white flet of stairs climbing about it.

"Here is the Mound of Amroth, this is the heart of the ancient realm. Here forever bloom the winter flowers in the unfading grass. The yellow Elanor, and the pale Niphredil." Haldir spoke,

"We will stay here awhile, and go to the city of Galadhrim at dusk."

Nymeria let herself fall into the grass and let herself fall into a deep sleep, deeper than any that she had ever had even when she was in Rivendell. Only gentle dreams would grace her here.

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