Just to clear some things up, Courting is the elvish form of Dating, NOT Betrothal which is their form of engagement. I had several PMs asking so I figured I'd clear it up in my authors note in case others had the same question.
This chapter will mainly go over the fellowship's time in Edoras. I thought about adding the journey to Helm's deep too but decided to save that for next chapter. I made it much longer than the movie so I hope you enjoy.
Chapter 14: Edoras
Théodred's funeral was miserable to put it lightly. As I walked with Legolas behind Aragorn and Gimili, I saw tears falling from every single person's face we passed. Though I did not know the Prince of Rohan, his loss was obviously tragic. As his body was placed in the tomb, Eowyn began singing. I could not understand her words but it was a lament, a true funeral song for her lost cousin.
The days were dark. Few spoke many words. I often stayed in my room as I read books from the king's library. Legolas would join me sometimes but for the most part the city still lied in grief for their fallen prince. The king rarely left his own quarters unless an issue needed direct attention.
Finally, after nearly a week within the great hall, life began to return to its previous normal. With my leg completely healed, I approached Aragorn about training me with a blade. He was talking with Hama about something, but excused himself to talk to me.
"What is it Mae?" he asked.
"I wish to learn to handle my mother's sword. I have trained on a bow, now I must learn the blade."
"Are you sure?" he raised an eyebrow.
"More than anything."
"Be on the training grounds at dawn tomorrow and do not take this lightly. Rangers do not take students often" I smiled ear to ear and hugged him.
"Thank you Aragorn you will not regret it."
"Don't thank me yet" he said with a grin. Oh great, what am I getting myself into?
That night I sat with Legolas on the west wall watching over the plains. The moon was high and shining bright over the land.
"Aragorn will teach me to wield my sword."
"Perhaps after a few days, we could spar. I would like to make sure the Ranger is doing his job" he said laughing towards the end. Legolas and Aragorn had such a strong friendship that was rare in these dark days.
"I would love nothing less" I said putting my head on his shoulder.
We sat in silence for some time. He hummed tunes softly as he caressed my hand with his thumb. The night was perfect. I would not mind more nights like this. However, that little hopeful thought brought a slew of questions to my attention.
"So what is next? We're all here; what is Gandalf waiting for?" I asked softly. Legolas looked confused at my question but then answered.
"He is known as the wandering wizard to some. He usually does not stay in one place long. So, he is watching for something, a sign" it was a solemn tone as if he didn't want to think about the war. So I let my thoughts wonder in hopes of a subject change. Names come to mind. Wandering Wizard…Strider…White Lady… anyone else have other names?
"So do you have any other names besides the Prince of Mirkwood?"
"In the common tongue my name means Green Leaf, but no one calls me by that. I am also known as the Green Archer in Mirkwood among the Guard. It protects my nature as Prince. Keeps my identity hidden should there be an enemy about"
"Legolas…Greenleaf…Legolas… yes I see why no one calls you that" I said laughing after pondering his words.
"Does your name hold any other meaning?" he asked hoping to get something on me.
"Daughter of Battle, my mother seemed to find it fitting.”
"Most definitely appropriate for your personality and abilities." He said putting his arms around me. I looked up in the sky and the moon was very high. It was well past midnight. Though, I require much less sleep, I still need some to function.
"I should get some sleep. I have a feeling Aragorn will be less than gentle with my training."
"That he will. I've never heard of him teaching anyone so take great appreciation."
"Oh I am."
"I'll walk you back" We walked back slowly.
"Goodnight" I said reaching up and kissing him lightly. It was only our second kiss. But it was a sweet one. His lips kissed back gently and briefly realizing it did not need to be anything more.
"Goodnight" he said stroking my cheek once before turning away.
I slept well that night in preparation for the days of rough training ahead.
(A/N: I couldn't resist the chance at a cute scene between our two favorite elves ^.^ )
"One, Two, Three, Block!"
"Stand up straight!"
"Don't forget to move!"
"Again!" Aragorn shouted commands all morning. I had the pattern but he would try to throw me off every now and again. And sure enough, every time he caught me off guard because I was more worried about the frame we worked on yesterday.
"One, Two! Block! Don't lean back, that opens up your stomach" He soon disarmed me for the tenth time in the past two hours, which was much improved.
"You're getting better Mae. Take a break" He said and wiping the sweat from his brow.
It was our second day working together and I finally could freely swing my blade without fear of hurting myself. It was elvish making it sharper than a mortal blade and lighter but more deadly just for that reason. I now feared of hurting Aragorn indirectly. I sat down on the haystack behind me and slowly took a drink of water. I was exhausted to say the least. I was grateful for the training but my stamina is not as great as full elf's. I still am an out of shape human on one side.
"Ready?" he asked after only a few minutes.
"Yes" I said standing and readying for his oncoming drills.
"One, Two, Three, Four, Five! Ahhh!" I did it! After two weeks of Aragorn's training, I managed to disarm him! I held my blade to his chest with pride. Just as I did, Legolas and Gimili walked up.
"First, the lass out does you in archery, now she is taking on Aragorn with a blade. Perhaps swinging an axe is next on her list" Gimili laughed taking a puff of his pipe.
"I wouldn't say that statement was true at all master dwarf. I could never be better than either of them. Though they have been kind enough to train me, I will never truly defeat either of them. This here was just a lucky swipe" I said removing my blade and helping Aragorn to his feet.
The next week was interesting. My training with Aragorn had decreased since he and Gandalf were pulled into council with the King frequently. So, I often spared with Legolas and could disarm him from time to time. Sadly, that victory was short lived because of his lack of expertise with a single blade. He told me he would bring his twin blades out soon. Both gave great praise for my accomplishments in so little time. I also made a light friendship with Eowyn. She was truly sweet. But I could see jealousy in her eyes when I left to train with Aragorn. She wanted to fight so badly.
"How do you do it my lady?"
"Do what Eowyn?"
"Make them allow you to fight"
"They know I will fight whether they allow me to or not. So they train me so I can stand my own"
"I see. Is training as hard as it seems? You come back exhausted most nights"
"Yes, but Aragorn is a great teacher. I have learned a lot over the past three weeks from him"
"Are you good with a bow as well? You're an elf after all"
"Yes am skilled with a bow, but not nearly as well as Legolas"
"I wonder if they would teach me as well" No they wouldn't but I couldn't tell her that. She would be crushed. Perhaps I should let her down gently.
"I do not know Lady Eowyn, but Aragorn has never taken on student before me so I doubt he will take another on. We have known each other for over four months now, while you've only just met him" she sighed before laying on her bed.
"Perhaps one day I will learn."
"Don't lose hope" I whispered before sleep took me.
"You truly are an elf worthy of the Galadhrim. You handle a bow better than most and your sword skills are improving by the day" Aragorn said as we cleaned up after a long day. Odd, no one ever actually called me an elf before.
He disarmed me a little while later and put his sword to my throat laughing. It slipped around my necklace and he looked down with a furrowed brow. Alarms started going off in my head but I could not move.
"You wear an immortality necklace" it was a statement not a question.
"Yes" I said looking down at the sword just out of my reach.
"Are you being honest with us Mae? It is a time where trust is not common; do not break mine" his tone was serious. He put the blade legitimately to my neck.
"My mother was of Gondor, but I was raised by the elves. I chose immortality long ago"
"Yet you still wear the necklace" I could tell his uncertainty in voice.
"Do not judge me. Just because you wear one, does not give you that right. I would not judge the maiden who blessed you with that" his eyes softened.
"My apologies Mae. I just had to be sure for Legolas' sake"
"Do not say anything to him. Though he probably knows after Théodred's funeral, I must tell him myself"
"I will not unless necessary. I again apologize for intruding" he said helping me up.
The next afternoon, Legolas, Aragorn, and I went for a ride just to get out of the city. My eyes saw something on the horizon. A black horse carrying what looked like two children.
"Legolas…" he looked in the same direction and was soon making his way to them.
"What is it?" Aragorn asked as we rode after him.
"Two children on a horse" We drew closer and saw that there was an older boy and a younger girl.
We reached them as the boy fell in exhaustion. Aragorn pulled the boy up while Legolas pulled their steed.
I pulled the little girl into my lap and she clung onto me tightly.
"It's okay little one. I will not leave you" I said as I wrapped an arm around her and made for Edoras. We were about an hour's ride away.
Until next time!