1. A Glimmer of Hope
I wanted to answer, I really did. “I saw him too, Pip,” I wanted to say, or maybe, “Isn’t this wonderful?” But as I was in somewhat of a trance, I couldn’t get the words out.
Finally I regained use of my body and turned my head towards him, at least. I beheld a glowing, joyous, awe-struck face mere inches from mine.
“Gandalf!” he crowed, grabbing me and whooping in my ear, “Gandalf, Merry!”
Something shook me loose, then, and I grabbed him back and started laughing. Surely this awful place had never heard such sounds as we were making.
“Did you see what he was wearing?” Pippin was still awe-struck. “Where do you suppose he got it?”
“I don’t know, Pip --- wherever he got the old robe, I guess,” I said. Pippin was thinking of clothes at a time like this? “No hat now,” I said, musing. “Nicer staff, too.”
Pippin turned to me with a grin. “I guess that Balrog is flapping around down in the dark wearing the hat, don’t you think?”
I started laughing so hard I thought I would hyperventilate. “Oh Pip,” I gasped, “Stop, please!”
After awhile we calmed down. The stones were uncomfortable and cold, and it was rather dark, but neither of us wanted to leave the gate just yet. Who else might come riding down the road? If Gandalf was back, what wasn’t possible?
“He said he had ten thousand Orcs to manage,” said Pippin thoughtfully. “Ten thousand; I can’t imagine anything so awful.”
“I know. And Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimli are right in the middle of things, it seems.” I took his hand. “The Orcs don’t know what they’re up against, do they?”
Even in the dark I knew Pippin was smiling. He was smiling again at last, at long last. Oh thank you, Gandalf, I thought. Thank you for this.
“Come on, Pip, Treebeard said not to linger near the gate. We have to find a place to hole up in.” We heard thunder, and saw lightning on the far-off hills. War, I thought with a sudden pang of fear. War. But I was distracted for the moment by Pippin’s hand squeezing mine. A whisper so quiet I had to strain to hear it.
“He’s alive, Mer.”
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.