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more of the LotR fic

Here's more of the anti-sue Tolkien fic I was writing. Again, as a reminder, this is a parody and not a serious attempt at fanfic. I'm not a Tolkien expert by any means, and if I have anything written wrong, please, somebody correct it.

Hugs go to my Tolkien muse, Bob the Emotionally Scarred Elf.

“And what if he can’t tell us anything?” What if I’m stuck here for good?

As if he caught onto her unspoken worry, Legolas reached out and touched her hand. “Then you will return with me and live here under my people’s protection. In much nicer accommodations, though,” he added with a wink. “Yet there is still something that you have not told me.”

“What?”

“Your name. We cannot keep on calling you ‘the woman we rescued from the spiders’, now can we?”

Beth gave a small laugh. “That would be kind of long, don’t you think? My name’s Beth Green.”

“Then it is a pleasure to finally know your name, Beth Green.” Legolas gave her a small smile before standing up. “I will see to it that you are comfortable. We will ride out at daybreak.” With another nod of his head, he opened the door and spoke with several guards that had gathered outside to glimpse their new guest. Beth couldn’t understand a word of what they were saying, but it must have been good because Legolas tilted back his head and laughed, slapping a guard heartily on the shoulder as he left. Some time later, three guards came inside her cell and replaced the bed of straw with a more comfortable looking cot and blanket. Yawning, Beth smiled tentatively at them before curling up on the thing and tucking the lightweight blanket around her. Before falling asleep, she noticed that the guards hadn’t bothered to lock the door and were sitting nearby talking amongst themselves. The dungeons were deep within the hall, but she could still hear the very far off singing of the Elves.

Even though all her classes were scheduled in the morning, Beth was a horrible riser. Having someone gently shake her awake in an unfamiliar setting didn’t stop her from muttering curses under her breath, groaning, and pulling the blanket over her head. Still half asleep, she deduced that the singing echoing somewhat far off was her alarm clock, so she let her hand snake out from under the blanket and slap in the general direction her clock usually sat. Instead of cold plastic, her hand came in contact with warm skin.

“Is it a custom of your people to strike others when first awakening?” Legolas asked, pulling the blanket down from Beth’s head.

“Is it a custom of yours to be so cheerful in the morning?” Beth replied, sitting up. She pushed a hand through her hair, grimacing as she realized it was a horrible bed head mess. Blinking the sleep out of her eyes, she slung her feet over the side of the cot. “What time is it anyway?”

“At least an hour before dawn.”

Beth groaned. “I thought you said we were leaving after daylight.”

“True. It should take an hour to get everything prepared.” He stepped aside and let her rise. “We have arranged for some suitable clothing to be found for you.”

Beth looked down at her clothes. She didn’t see anything wrong with what she was wearing, but then stopped herself. Before going back to her dorm room to do her English assignment, she had taken a run around the campus. The track shorts she had on showed way too much leg than was proper, even for her time. Allowing Legolas to guide her out of the dungeons and up to the surface, Beth stared wide-eyed at all she saw. This is kinda cool, now that I don’t feel like crap from the spider poison. Legolas took her to a room where many women elves were. It looked much like a medieval laundry room with steaming vats of water and women stirring the contents with long wooden paddles. At the end of the room were more women dying fabric, their arms up to their elbows stained green. They stopped what they were doing at sight of the Elvenking’s son and bowed their heads in respect. Legolas spoke to them quickly in their own language and one of the women came forth and eyed Beth. Taking her hand, the elf woman led Beth into an adjoining room where more women were sewing clothing. There, she handed Beth a light gray under tunic and an olive green over tunic that laced up in front and fell to mid thigh. With them came a pair of brown leggings and a pair of lightweight boots. The woman gestured for Beth to change clothes. Five minutes later, Beth came walking out looking very much like the Wood Elves she had seen in the spider’s lair.

“Besides the oddly colored hair,” Legolas started, lifting a strand of red streaked hair, “you seem to be one of us.”

“No making fun of the hair. My best friend did it for her beautician class.” She couldn’t help but notice that his own hair had changed color. Hadn’t it been a dark blond yesterday? She chalked it up to the poison messing with her judgment. The light brown color suited him. Hey! No ogling the canon! Beth’s brain jolted the inner fangirl and reminded her to pay attention. Besides, I’m not a Legolas fangirl at all. I’m more of a Boromir one.

After thanking the women for the clothes, Legolas and Beth walked towards the Great Hall where other elves had gathered to see the prince off. Thranduil stood from his throne and walked towards his son.

“I wish you good fortune on your road to Imladris,” he said, placing his right hand on his son’s shoulder. “May Elbereth protect you.”

“Thank you, Adar.” Both looked at the other and similar half smiles crossed their lips.

“Be safe, my son.” Giving Legolas’ shoulder a hard squeeze and getting one in return, Thranduil turned to Beth.

“I hope that you forgive me for placing you in our dungeons for the night. I did not know of your true predicament. I pray that there is no feeling of ill will between us now.” He bowed at the waist, his golden hair falling over his shoulders. Beth thought of how many times she had read Thranduil as being the mean hearted jerk, yet the cordial apology was proof that he wasn’t. Not knowing what to do, she bowed her head.

“Thank you for your hospitality and for the clothes. This whole thing is surreal, but your people have helped me cope with it well.” I hope that was the right thing to say.

Thranduil gave her a small smile, then placed his hands over her shoulders. “You are not of our customs yet are polite. I call you elf-friend and wish that you have a safe journey to Imladris, where Lord Elrond is sure to be able to aid you. Namárië!”

The two of them made their way to the stables, which were still inside the stone halls. Legolas patted the neck of a large horse and murmured soothing words to it. Strapping on a quiver of arrows behind his back and shouldering the bow that another elf handed him, he helped Beth up on the horse’s back. She slid about a bit because there were no saddle or bridle to hang onto, but managed to stay on while Legolas gracefully came up behind her. The only thing strapped onto the horse was a bag containing provisions for their five day journey. A final wave to the elves in the stable and they were off. The stone tunnel leading out slowly gave way to grass and trees, camouflaging itself within the ivy and lichen that grew in great abundance. They traveled in relative silence, seeing that they didn’t want to risk catching the giant spider’s attention. Beth looked down at the moss and other plants acting as ground cover for the dense forest and realized that they were on a faint path.

“Do not touch the water here,” Legolas warned softly as they crossed a wooden bridge. The crossing was fashioned to look like a downed tree limb across the fast moving river and was nearly invisible to the eye unless you knew where to look. Beth’s mind wandered through The Hobbit and imagined Bombur falling in and then the other dwarves and Bilbo having to carry the sleeping dwarf afterward. Without knowing it, she curled her feet up higher against the horse as they passed.

“There is another crossing further downstream where we have a boat docked. It is more perilous there, and not many but the elves that travel between Imladris and the Greenwood know of this bridge here.”

“Does it really take days to go from one side of the woods to the other?” Beth asked, noticing that the beech trees had thinned out and darker moss laden trees had taken their place. The barely visible path became obscured by a thick blanket of dark green and black leaves and the sounds of birds had stilled.

“Only if one does not know where they are going or if they stray from the paths. We should be out before nightfall, which is fortunate. I have no desire to travel in pitch blackness.”

It seemed hours before they stopped to allow the horse to drink from a stream Legolas deemed safe. Cupping her hands, Beth brought the cool water to her lips. She looked around, goosebumps breaking out over her arms.

“I was in a forest like this once. Not as big, but there were large oak trees that grew close together. It had a feeling like the trees were old and the air was close, like they were speaking to the other.” As soon as she said it, she felt stupid.

“Then the trees must have been old. This forest gives out a sense of unease, yet at times there is a faint hint at the greatness it once was.” Legolas glanced up at the thick canopy of trees. “Greenwood it was called of old, yet only a handful know Mirkwood as such. I have little memory of the trees here, they were before my time. Father remembers when the whole of this forest was alive and green, before the Shadow passed and the darkness slowly drove us to the north.”

“Your father is a good king.”

“That he is. His ways towards strangers in our wood are harsh at first, but it is only because he wishes no harm to fall on our people. Having the creature Gollum escape from our wood had more than likely endangered us, especially with the shadow in Dol Guldur growing ever steadily.”

Their break over, they mounted the horse again and continued out of the forest. It was indeed a little after sundown when they finally cleared the last of Mirkwood and came to a clearing that marked the Forest Gate.

“There is a ford half a day’s ride from here that the descendants of Beorn keep open. Their tolls are high, yet we Elves have an alliance with them that exchanges safe passage through our wood for safe passage over the ford of Carrock.”

The stars peeked out from behind the clouds later that night as they made camp for the evening. Beth huddled under the cloak the wood elves had given her and stared at the clear sky. It never failed to amaze her just how beautiful the night sky looked, how it resembled a dark, overturned bowl studded with brilliant stars. Her breath came out in slight puffs of fog as the evening became cooler.

“What does an environmental science major do, exactly?” Legolas asked, handing her a flask of water. “It is a most curious title.”

“I want to study trees and become a conservationist. I can‘t really explain it, but I want to be someone that protects the forests from being over harvested and studies their history to see just how they thrived so that new forests could be planted and the world’s tree population grows stronger.”

“That is a noble cause, being a protector of forests.”

“At least that’s what I hope I get to do.”

Legolas looked at her and sat down. “We will get you home. Now you should rest, for tomorrow is another day.”

Beth snickered as she settled against the rock she had been leaning on. “Yes, Scarlet. Good night.”

The next day was spent riding to the ford, then crossing what Legolas called the Anduin. They stopped for the night at the base of the Misty Mountains, where Legolas stood guard with an arrow notched at all times. Beth found out that he didn’t need sleep like she and the horse did; he had been resting in a sort of walking trance while they had been riding all day. She herself couldn’t get to sleep, warnings about goblins and orcs kept her alert and the shrill hooting of an owl and other nighttime noises had her waking up every five minutes.

They spent two days riding through a narrow pass that went through the mountains. Beth clutched tightly to the horse’s mane as they came to the narrow ledges. The mountain air was thin and cold and the gorges they passed over were deep. By the time they had cleared the pass, Beth was hoping she’d never have to see another mountain that close ever again. Because they hadn’t stopped to rest, they were over the mountains earlier than expected.

“Look down the valley and you will see the Last Homely House. It is a welcoming sight, is it not?” Legolas pointed down past the line of pine trees to the home below, its windows alight with golden light in the pre-twilight hours. Beth stared, her breath caught in her throat at the beauty that was Elrond’s home. Not even the movies had depicted such a thing of beauty as it, but they had come close.

Bob the Elf has been busy today, though I'm afraid he may have given me a few wrong Sindarin phrases. I'm sure it was 'Ada' or 'Atari' for 'father', but I may be mistaken.

Logan muse: And when are you going to get back on that murder/mystery story?

Sheesh. He never lets up.

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