Once Again I

Day One Of Darkness

The first day of the four day journey had begun. Nymeria was scared of the things that did possibly did linger. Boromir had stayed so close to her, it made her feel safe, it made her feel concerned. The signs of his feelings were apparent to her, long had the days passed when she was oblivious to such things. Still she did not know how to respond to these things, she had loved Bilbo and still did, but Boromir was a stark contrast to Bilbo.

Bilbo was a Hobbit to start off with. He was no warrior, but he was kind and clever and bold. Boromir was of the race of man, he was a warrior with strength coiled within his body. Perhaps what they did have in common was their boldness and their bravery.

The Fellowship followed Gandalf and Gimli, guided by the faint light radiating from Gandalf's staff. Their path led to a great staircase, it was sturdy and undamaged. Nymeria once again distracted herself by counting her footsteps


After the two hundredth step the stairs ended. Nymeria almost did not notice, she kept counting her steps, Gandalf announced that this is where they would stop for a while. All were overjoyed at this, and sat on the upper steps of the stairs. They kept close together as Sam made dinner. Gimli stood furthest away looking out into the darkness, trying to see what was ahead.

Boromir and Legolas sat themselves on either side of Nymeria. Legolas was more unsettled than the rest, Elves did not like being in places like this. So closed in, void of light and life. She could not blame him, she longed for the sight of the sun and stars.

"Nym," Pippin called her by the nickname he had given her, "do you know of any songs?" She smiled at him.

"I know many. When I was younger my mother pressed me to learn as many songs as I was capable of. Would you like to hear one?" Pippin and Merry nodded. Nymeria thought of a song her mother used to sing to her, Ar Éirinn Ní Neosfainn Cé Hí, was the name of it. The words were in the tongue of her mother's, she parted her lips and opened her throat to sing the sweet melody,

Aréir is mé ag téarnamh um neoin

ar an taobh thall den teora ina mbím

do thaobhnaigh an spéirbhean i m' chomhair

d'fhag taomanach breoite lag sinn.

do ghéilleas dá méin is dá cló

dá bréithre 's dá beol tana binn.

Do léimeas fá dhéin dul 'na comhair

is ar Éirinn ní neosfainn cé hí.

Dá ngéillfeadh an spéirbhean do m' ghlór

agus ráite mo bheoil a bheith fíor

go deimhin duit, go ndéanfainn do ghnó,

do léirchur i gcóir is i gcríoch.

Do léifinn go léir stair do m' stór

is bna mhéin liom í a phógadh ó m' chroí

do bhéarfainn an chraobh di gan ghó,

is ar Éirinn ní neosfainn cé hí.

Tá spéirbhruinneall mhaorga dheas óg

Ar an taobh eile den teora ina mbím,

Tá féile agus daonnacht ina snó

Is deise agus meon ins an mhnaoi

Tá folt aici ar lasadh mar ór

Go cócanach ómarach buí,

Tá lasadh ina leacain mar rós

S ar Éirinn ní neosfainn cé hí.

Merry and Pippin had begun to yawn halfway through the song, by the end of it they were sound asleep, resting their heads on the shoulder of the other.

"You have the sweet voice of a dove, sweet Nymeria." Legolas complemented.

"So sweet that it could put the fears of our dear Merry and Pippin at ease, making them fall into a sweet sleep." Aragorn commented, while looking at the two sleeping Hobbits. Nymeria knew that she would not be blessed with sleep, she feared the that the worst had befallen her old friends. There was still hope that they lived, perhaps they were deep within the mine, safe and sound.

Boromir shifted closer to Nymeria, not without drawing the attention of Aragorn who looked at him with questioning eyes. Nymeria was not the only one who had seen the way in which Boromir had treated her. He lingered in her wake, his gaze was often upon her, all of the Fellowship had seen it. None had intervened because they believed that Nymeria would be able to confront him, should she take offence to his advances. Aragorn, though, had begun to look at Nymeria as a sister and daughter and he wished to protect her honor. Aragorn's grey eyes clashed with Boromir's grey eyes, and Boromir slid back away to his previous place then gave an apologetic look.

Aragorn knew that Nymeria could stand for herself, but she did have a gentle heart and would spare Boromir of heartbreak if she could. Her honor was also at stake, with no father to guide her she could easily lose it. He was going to try his hardest to not let her know his thoughts, the kindest people could posses the harshest rage. If she found out that he was trying to defend her honor, she might just fly into a rage thinking that she could not take care of herself. She might even attack him, he thought.

"Dinner is ready." Sam spoke, it was a cold dinner, but a meal none the less. Nymeria had barely eaten all of that day, but still could not stomach much more than a bite or two. The Hobbits had devoured their food quickly, she forced herself to eat half of her share of food before offering it to Merry.

"Are you sure Nym, you have barely touched it."

"Yes Merry, something in this darkness has stolen my appetite from me. I would be a wastrel if I did not offer this food to someone else." He smiled to her and took the food, he did not touch it till she had walked to Gimli's side.

There she did look into the darkness with Gimli, he was worried as well. If Goblins had attacked Moria, the were so few Dwarves that it would have been hard to defend, yet the cleverness of Dwarves could surprise them yet.

"Do you think..." Gimli trailed off, but the question did not have to be finished for Nymeria did know what he was asking.

"I have never underestimated the cleverness of dwarves, there is still hope that their hearts still beat." she tried to comfort Gimli. The words were empty, and the hope was just barely there.

She rested her hand upon the Dwarf's shoulder and looked out into the darkness. There would be no rest for them, not here, not now.

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