Five Reasons To Love Sheep

Chapter 3: Seregorn

AN: Hello there, beautiful people! Here is my xmas gift to you all.

After months of wondering the dark caves of my inner being, I have once again picked up the mighty pen, and having completely forgotten how much I love this fic, this shall be the first one I return to; however, I am making a few amendments currently to the previous chapters due to continuity errors and such like. When I first started writing this everything was spur-of-the-moment, and the direction of the plot has drastically changed from my original idea- rather than forcing you all to re-read thirty chapters of my incessant rambling, I'll give you a summary of the things that have changed in the next chapter.

So, who saw BOFA? Who cried like a baby? Gush your feelings, guys. It's okay to cry... it's okay.

Due to the fact that our dear Alice is out of it for most of this chapter, we have a bit of a POV change. A lot of you bros have asked me how I'll be dealing with Tauriel, and you're about to find out. Enjoy, dear ones.

Chapter Three:

Seregorn

A beautiful fiery-haired woman towers over before me; for a fleeting second I wonder if she might be an angel, before I see the blue-smeared blade in her hand and the bow-and-arrow at her back. The spider lies dead on the floor, an arrow through one of its many beady black eyes and a fountain of royal blue gushing from its abdomen. She wipes her blade quickly on the skirt of her leaf-green tunic, straightens her bodice and glares at me through dark, glittering eyes.

Those same eyes lock onto the deep puncture wound ripped through my forearm and she hisses through her teeth, backing up a step; I look to the wound myself, and cry out aloud as I see that a thick transparent liquid, reddish-orange with blood has begun to fester, running down my forearm. I wipe it away on my dress, stumbling backwards until the Elf woman takes a firm grip on my other arm and pulls me to my feet, stepping over the carcass of the fallen arachnid.

As the forest spins I call out to the others; to Fili and Bofur, to Bilbo and Kili.

"Kili!" I yell, feeling faint as more blood leaves the puncture wound of the spider's bite, "Kili! Kili!"

"Who are you?" the Elf barks, holding me upright.

I try to answer, but within moments the blackness takes me, and I fall ungraciously into a world of swirling night.

~oOo~

Tauriel swept her way up the stairs after the son of the king, skirts swirling as she ascended. She sheathed her blade and stepped up to the throne, bowing low along with her companion. The distant shrill of the Dwarves in their cells swept up through the halls, angry cries and desperate roars in their thick, Germanic language.

"Ada," Legolas stooped, his throat a little tight, "we have news of the forest."

The King of Mirkwood looked down at his son, expression unreadable. It made Tauriel uneasy. "Is it done?" the King asked, "are the spiders purged?"

"Yes, father-"

"Good. And what of the raucous coming from the dungeons?"

Legolas cleared his throat. "Dwarves. Thirteen of them."

The thick eyebrows of the Elven King lifted. "Dwarves? Crossing our borders? For what purpose?"

"We have not yet had the chance to question them yet."

"Then I shall do it. Bring their leader to me, now."

"Father, their leader... it is Oakenshield, of Durin's line."

A cold surprise skated across the face of the King for less than a moment, before manifesting itself in a wry smirk. "All the better. I have heard several rumors. Bring him to me; let us see what the Dwarf has to say for himself. This could be rather amusing."

Legolas nodded, bowed and took his leave towards the dungeons; Tauriel, however, stood her ground.

"I would ask for a moment more of your time, my Lord," the she-Elf begged; for the first time since seeking his audience, he looked at the captain of his guard. Though his visage remained cool and collected, there was a flame dancing in his eyes, a flame of wicked excitement, an impatience which reminded Tauriel of a child. She found it unnerving.

"Quickly, then. Oakenshield will be here momentarily, and I plan to savor the look on his face when we meet again."

Tauriel nodded. "I wanted to ask for your permission to enter the medicinal stores. Your son did not mention it, but we also found a girl in the forest. She was bitten before I could reach her, and the venom is in her veins. The paralysis has already set in; and being such a small creature, without the antidote, I fear there will be long-lasting effects... if she ever comes around. It may yet kill her."

The great Elven king nodded. "Remind me of the antidote for a spiders bite."

"Leaves of the Laurinque tree crushed with the anther of the Seregorn flower. My Lord, this girl we have captured is no Dwarf, in fact I believe that she-"

"Seregorn," he interrupted, "an expensive and rare substance which grows only on the hills of Amon Rudh, as I remember. Hardly worth wasting on a prisoner who is already more than half gone, if your testimony is accurate."

Tauriel was shocked at his lack of empathy, though she had experienced it many times in her six hundred years. "But my Lord-"

"Dina, Tauriel. I shall hear no more of this foolishness. If I were to permit you to treat the prisoner and then one of your men was bitten by one of those wretched children of Ungoliant, and our only store of the cure had vanished, you would call me a foolish king, would you not?"

"No one could ever call you such, Aran-Nin."

If Thranduil sensed the slight behind her words, he did not show it. "Even so. My concern here is for my people, not for whatever rabble come trespassing. If you had purged that nest when I had ordered you to, you would not be in this dilemma."

"We cleared the forest as ordered, my Lord, but more spiders are coming up from the south. They are spawning in the ruins of Dol-Goldur, if we could kill them at their source-"

"Enough of this," The King ordered, standing from his ornate throne; Tauriel sensed movement behind her, and turned to see the Elven prince leading the head of the Dwarven party up the stairs to the King's court. She heard a breathless exhale from the King, something like a hidden laugh, and saw his eyes light up once again, though nothing like a smile passed over his lips.

"Leave now, Tauriel. Back to your duties."

Knowing there was no reasoning with the Elven King, Tauriel nodded reluctantly and turned away.

"And no more of this foolish business with the Dwarven girl."

That statement itself was enough to show the she-Elf that he had paid her conversation no mind whatsoever. She nodded, bowed, and left. As she moved through the dungeons, she purposely avoided the secluded cell where the paralysed girl was imprisoned. She swept up the steps, ignoring the angered slurs of the Dwarves within the cells, heading for the stairway which lead to the entrance of the palace. There was a loud thud, and Tauriel turned to see one of the Dwarves with his face pressed up against the bars of his cell, thick fingers squeezing the iron.

"Where is she?" he balked, "I saw you, you were the one who brought her in. What have you done with her, is she alright?!"

Tauriel was shocked, though kept her composure. "I... I don't know what you-"

"The girl you took, my... look, where is she?!"

Tauriel remembered this Dwarf; she had saved him from the spiders out in the enchanted forest, only a few minutes before she had heard the call of the screaming girl and gone to investigate. She had brought the girl back to the main group, barely conscious and mumbling incoherently, and a handful of the Dwarves had begun to cry out in rage, though none more loudly than the young archer, who had struggled all the way to his cell.

Tauriel looked at the young Dwarf, and decided upon one thing; he deserved the truth about the girl; they all did. Straightening herself she explained,

"The girl lives-"

"Lavender," the Dwarf corrected Darkly, fingers tightening around the bars, "her name is Lavender."

Tauriel closed her eyes, guilt burrowing its way inside her like a maggot into an apple. With a name to that tortured face, the peril of the girl locked in the cell seemed all the more real to the she-Elf.

Tauriel closed her eyes, guilt burrowing its way inside her like a maggot into an apple. With a name to that tortured face, the peril of the girl locked in the cell seemed all the more real to the she-Elf.

"She lives for now, but the venom has made its way through her system. Without attention, she could become paralysed permanently... or worse."

The Dwarf had turned to stone within the cell, his expression frozen into a twisted snear of pain. "And there is nothing you can do?"

Tauriel opened her mouth to answer, the words of the Elven King coursing through her mind; no more of this foolishness. She shook her head, thick auburn tresses brushing the backs of her knees. The Dwarf in the cell lowered his head, something inside of him shattering at her gesture.

"You must let me see her," he said, throat dry, pleading. Tauriel shook her head, a sadness in her eyes.

"I cannot do that. Surely you must understand. You are prisoners here."

Head lowered, the Dwarf did not respond. Tauriel felt a wave of pity. The Dwarf backed away from the doorway, sitting down on the cell's cot and reaching into his pocket. He clutched it in his palm, close to his chest, then brought it up against his lips with a sigh.

"The stone in your hand. What is it?"

"It is a talisman. A powerful spell lies upon it; if any but a Dwarf reads the runes on this stone, they will be forever cursed." The Dwarf held the stone out to her, his expression grim. Tauriel backed away, taking that as her sign to leave.

Though he tried, he could not hide the hint of a smile. "Or not. Depending on whether you believe in that sort of thing, it's just a token. A Runestone. My mother gave it to me so I would remember my promise."

"What promise?"

He bowed his head. "That I would come back to her."

Tauriel found that she had run out of words; the young Dwarf eyed the stone closely, his expression dim.

"I will go to her," Tauriel said. "To Lavender. That is my promise, to you."

He looked up at her. "Thank you."

The she-Elf nodded and left, heading immediately to the closed-off area of the jail, where the girl had been locked away. Only one more of the cells was filled, and its occupant was dozing on the bed, as usual. The prisoner waved as Tauriel passed, and the she-Elf struggled to hold back a smile. Tauriel passed the cell and stood at the door of the girl's- Lavender, she reminded herself. She was near unconsciousness, eyes open but unseeing, lying still on the bunk and murmuring softly; even with her supreme hearing, Tauriel had to strain to hear her words.

"Kili," the girl mumbled. "Kili..."

"Jeez-Louise, Taurie, mind telling the new girl to shut up? She's been making those weird dog-whispery noises ever since I woke up. It's giving me the creeps."

"She is dying."

"Well, tell her to die quieter or something. Some of us are trying to sleep."

Tauriel retreated from the cells, shaking the thoughts free which were racing through her mind. She could not get involved in this; these people were her prisoners. A casualty amongst them was not her business. She headed back to the staircase which lead to the palace entrance; she had duties to perform. And yet, even as she had resolved to do her duty as Captain of the Guard, she found herself stopping at the cell of the young Dwarf.

"She speaks of you," she told him, brushing a lock of her tangerine hair away from her shoulder. "Your Lavender."

He scoffed a little, an unwilling smile tweaking his lips, surprised she had kept her word. "She's not my... she... she spoke of me?" He pondered her words a moment before asking, "what does she say?"

"Your name," Tauriel smiled. "Only your name."

He smiled, and the sight was so warming that Tauriel found her mind made at last.

She turned, abandoning her journey to the outside. Instead, she headed for the house of healing.

"Where are you going?!" Kili called after her, one arm reaching through the bars, runestone in hand. Tauriel turned back to him for a moment before descending the steps.

"I'm going to save her."

An: Elves, man. Gotta love Elves.

Hope you enjoyed this chapter, my lovelies, though it was a little bit different to our usual. More coming soon for your reading pleasure; be prepared for the never-ending sass of King Thrandy!

All my love and a very jolly holiday to you all,

Wiza x

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