Glorfindel the Walker
2. Part the Second
Very hastily thrown together. I can't seem to find enough time to do anything, so be warned that this chapter is very short and very, very beta-ish. The Sindarin grammar for the Elvish was hung for picking and got squashed by my rushed, er, rushiness. Might get rid of it later. Please throw apples and rotten tomatoes at me and tell me if anything in this scrap needs change. Many thanks.
As they rested, the company finally had the chance to stop and converse a little, temporarily unburdened. Frodo seemed content to sit still, unspeaking, and let the world pass him by while Sam and the other hobbits took the opportunity to learn more of the elf who had joined them, and of course, more or Strider's history.
'Well, it's as Mister Frodo said,' Sam commented rather conversationally, more to his fruit than to Strider, 'That you, well, seem foul but feel fair, rather than seem fair and feel foul.'
'He said that, did he?' Glorfindel asked with mirth in his clear voice, a chuckle rising up his throat. 'Indeed, that might not seem so incorrect,' There he threw the bedraggled Ranger a glance. 'If he mentioned that Aragorn looks foul, but seems fair.'
Strider laughed then, and a smile grew on his face that made him look, to the hobbits, somewhat different than a Ranger from the North. Sam watched the two Big People out of the corner of his eye as he ate, intent on finding out who they were. He was in quiet awe and appreciation of Glorfindel, but there was something different about him, some feeling more palpable than what Gildor represented. Sam had heard stories from the old Master Baggins, but Glorfindel felt, in a way, larger than life, far beyond any tale that had been told of Elrond Halfelven or the merry folk of Imladris. There was a presence and a severity about him that shone brighter than any of the other Elves they had met so far, and that was enough to make Sam trust him. For to the hobbit, there seemed to be at once both grief and joy in Glorfindel, and that the Elf was neither but rather a combination of the two. He could find no words to describe it, but Samwise Gamgee knew where to place his trust.
They had barely five hours of rest after that before Glorfindel made them take to the Road again. There was anxiety written on his face, his features clouded by some distant thought. Strider spoke to him in the elf-tongue for a while, and though the Elf let slip a small smile, he continued to throw looks behind them and beyond their vision, as if sensing something they could not.
Glorfindel drove them on with a pace fuelled by fear. The company moved as swiftly as their tired feet allowed, moving continually onwards until nightfall finally beckoned hours later. They had come along a good twenty miles by then, and reached a bend in the Road which forked away and ran down the side of the Valley and made straight for the Bruinen.
Strider let out a sigh then, but whether it was ominous or not, Sam could not tell.
'Strider,' the Hobbit spoke after a while, jogging to catch up with the long-legged Man, 'what happens? Why does Glorfindel look backwards?'
Strider was silent, not inclined to speak for his friend. Sam had not said anything, but there was less suspicion in his eyes, and a trust had fostered where before there had only been fear, now that they had an elf in the company. The air, however, remained heavy and thick between them, and a foreboding seemed to wash over the company as no words were exchanged. Finally, the Ranger broke the silence and spoke at last.
'We approach the Bruinen, Loudwater in the Common Tongue. From there, we cross the Ford and enter Elrond's realm of Rivendell - Imladris.'
'You speak of it so fondly,' Sam said, 'As if it were like the Shire to me or the rest of the Hobbits.'
'It is home,' Strider replied, an odd look passing over his haggard face, 'in a way.'
'In a way,' Sam echoed, then they both fell quiet and did not speak again.
Eventually, the company had to rest. Night had fallen proper, and the Hobbits were dizzy, stumbling about with barely enough energy to bemoan the state of their sore legs. It became clearly evident to Glorfindel that they could not continue onwards, and at last he called a stop, though his eyes gleamed and he once more spoke in quiet undertones to Strider as he threw yet another glance into the gathering dark.
'Hain teli, [they come]' Glorfindel mentioned, unnecessarily. 'A in periannath gosta.' [and the hobbits fear]
'Pendrath band gerim?' [do we have safe passage?]
'Im harthad,' [I hope] Glorfindel replied, though there was doubt in his voice. 'Dan u-henim' [But I know not.]
Frodo then swayed once more on Asfaloth's back, and the two guides turned back and tried to tend to the ailing halfling. Frodo's pain had doubled during the day, and now all the world about him seemed faded and of shadow. The Hobbit came close to welcoming the darkness of night, for then the world seemed less pale and empty in comparison to the grey shades of day.
Aragorn looked grimly on as they waited through the night, exhaustion and fear creeping slowly into his heart. Though he put great faith in Glorfindel, having known the elf for many long years, even he had not put rest to the constant trepidation that coursed through his veins. Muttering a quick prayer to Elbereth, the Man shifted his stance and attempted to catch some rest, aware that Glorfindel, ever watchful, kept watch with sleepless eyes.
The hobbits were still weary when they set out again early next morning. There were still many miles yet to go between them and the Ford of Rivendell, and they moved at as fast a pace as the hobbling hobbits could manage. Glorfindel's voice was grim as he addressed them once more:
'Our peril will be greatest just ere we reach the river,' he said; 'for my heart warns me that the pursuit is now swift behind us, and other danger might lay wait by the Ford.'
'What danger?' Pippin asked, 'What more danger than Riders behind us?'
'Riders in front of us, Master hobbit,' the elf replied with a quick, if false, smile to help put the young halfling at some ease. 'Though I hope that it is merely my paranoia that feeds that suspicion.'
'Nevertheless,' Strider put in, not wanting to let them lag behind, 'we should get moving.'
The Road was still running steadily down the side of the valley as they progressed, and the hobbits walked when they could to ease their tired, unshod feet. Late in the afternoon that came at last to a place where the Road eased down into a deep cutting with steep walls of stone. To Frodo, it seemed as if echoes of many footfalls followed their own as they hurried forward through the dark tunnel, and he near moaned in relief when light suddenly sprang forth as the Road ran out into a sharp incline.
There before them lay a flat mile of land, and beyond that they finally glimpsed the Ford, beyond of which was a steep bank and a winding path that led further into the valley. Beyond that path lay the towering mountains that climbed, one after another, into the sky. For a moment they stalled, taking in their surroundings and the sudden exposure in the open. Unsure and caught between relief and worry, they tarried until their silence was broken by the persistent echo of following feet once more. Frodo's breath hitched, and a hysteria seemed to overcome him as a rushing noise akin to wind pouring through the pines met his ears. Glorfindel turned and listened for a moment, then sprang back and with a loud cry called:
'Fly! Fly! The enemy is upon us!'
This is a work of fan fiction, written because the author has an abiding love for the works of J R R Tolkien. The characters, settings, places, and languages used in this work are the property of the Tolkien Estate, Tolkien Enterprises, and possibly New Line Cinema, except for certain original characters who belong to the author of the said work. The author will not receive any money or other remuneration for presenting the work on this archive site. The work is the intellectual property of the author, is available solely for the enjoyment of Henneth Annûn Story Archive readers, and may not be copied or redistributed by any means without the explicit written consent of the author.