1. The Evenstar
The waves beat gently onto the shore. The sky was nearing sunset, deep blues and pinks swirling together. Frodo walked along - waves overlapping his feet – watching Nano scan the shore for any last treasures he could find before the sun disappeared under the horizon.
They had lived on the shoreline of Angast for several weeks now. The beach was a beautiful sight to wake up to every morning. The waves were soothing to hear. Radagast was traipsing the woods often, most likely healing the creatures who needed his help; that left Frodo with many hours alone to spend with Nano. Those hours were well spent and enjoyed for the most part.
Frodo sighed, and reached beneath his shirt in search of the jewel that hung about his neck.
A gift from Queen Arwen, a comfort she said it would be. Though he did not need comfort at the moment, it was habit unbroken from the time he possessed the Ring to handle the jewel from time to time.
But his hand found no chain. Frodo’s heart leapt to his throat. The Evenstar was gone. It can’t be gone – he panicked, digging inside his shirt for the white gem. When he did not find it, his eyes dropped to the gravel shoreline. He knew it had been around his neck before they left. What if it fell off while they walked?
*The chain is elvish make. How could it have fallen off?*he wondered. *How could I not feel it leave me?*
Terror flew through Frodo’s every limb and pierced his heart like a dagger. I must find it! Frodo sank to his knees, crawling along the gravel shore. Sharp pebbles stabbed at his knees as he crawled, but he did not pay any mind. I must find it!
“Donkey!” a clear cry rang out from down the beach. Frodo snapped up his head. Nano was running back towards him, hands clenched in fist. Frodo stayed on his knees as the boy hurried up to him. “Donkey, look what.…! Why are you on the ground?”
Nano cast a worried look down at the trembling, wide-eyed figure leaning on hands and knees on the ground. “Are you hurt?”
Frodo’s mind screamed YES, but his mouth murmured, “No.”
The answer did not satisfy the boy. He bent down to grasp Frodo’s arm. The hobbit was breathing heavily, and his eyes seemed wild with fright. “What is the matter, Donkey?”
“I lost…” The words stuck in Frodo’s throat. Nano had never seen the white gem, as far as Frodo knew. He did not want the boy to know of it either. He stared at Nano’s worried face, but a familiar metal brushed cross the back of his hand right then. Frodo snatched the boy’s hand. In it hung a silver chain. Even though he could not see the Evenstar, he felt its presence.
“Where did you find this?”
“Down the beach” Nano answered. “Why, Donkey? You’re so white.”
“Give me what is in your hand” Frodo commanded in a tone Nano had never heard from him before. He stood then, tall and melanic, seeming to tower over Nano though the boy had grown an inch or so higher than Frodo while they had been there. His voice rolled over the shore like the waves would crash during a fierce storm. “Give it to me!”
Nano dropped the white gem into Frodo’s hand, and sank back in fear. But as soon as the white gem touched the hobbit’s hand, the darkness that encircled him vanished and Frodo’s innocuous presence returned instantly.
For several moments, they stared at one another: Nano bent to his knees in shock, Frodo standing weary and heaving. Slowly, Frodo bowed his head and delicately ran his fingertips over the white gem. His breathing calmed. This gem possessed powers of good, not of evil. He knew that fact. But looking down at Nano, no good had shrunk the poor boy to the ground.
Frodo shut his eyes, tears squeezing out from the edges. He replaced the silver chain around his neck. “Nano, come here.”
“Is it you again, Donkey?” the boy whispered, fearing anything louder would set his companion off once more.
Frodo hunched down beside the boy. “Yes, I am myself again.” He pulled Nano to him, and held him for as long as the boy would allow him to.
Finally, Nano pulled away, still looking distraught. “Why were you like that? Do your kind have power too that is hidden?”
“No, hobbits have no power as wizards or elves.”
“Then does that white gem have some kind of power?”
“It does, but it’s power is all for good. I am sorry if I frightened you. This gem is very sacred to me, and if I lose it, I will surely lose some aid in…” Frodo stopped. His explanation was becoming too deep. “Never mind that. My gem is found, and I have you to thank. Let us forget this ever happened. Come, let us hurry to camp before Radagast has our hides for being away after sunset.”
With that, they continued on as the sun melted into the water and night fell.
He tried to sleep. There had been a point when he relaxed just enough to fall into a twilight sleep, but a dream of the white gem fading away and the One Ring appearing before him sent Frodo wide awake. He decided best to not sleep for the rest of the night.
Frodo sat at the edge of the camp smoking his pipe, lost in old memories and questions. “Donkey?” Frodo turned, startled. He took a deep breath then turned back to stare into the darkness sucking on his pipe once more.
Radagast stepped over, squatting beside him. “What troubles my little Donkey?”
There was a pause. “How did you know?”
“Not much escapes me” was the wizard’s reply. “You have diverted any contact with me for the whole night. I could hear you tossing on your blankets. Now you are up and wanting to avoid me again.”
Frodo frowned, and set down his pipe. “Something happened while Nano and I were walking back that makes me wonder if I am really healing, or if it’s all a façade that I am not aware of.”
“What is it that happened?”
“The white gem Queen Arwen gave to me,” at that he pulled it from underneath his shirt and cradled it in his hand. “I don’t know how, but it had fallen off while we walked. As we came back, I realized it was gone. I was horrified. A thought passed through my mind that I am now ashamed of; that the Evenstar abandoned me. I had, had thoughts of the Ring like that.
“Then Nano found it. When I saw him holding it, I was angry that he was even touching it and demanded him to give it back. I felt lost from my body for that moment, as if I was watching myself revert back into an old habit I had had when the Ring was my possession. Now I wonder if the Evenstar is just a substitute for the Ring. Do I still have that evil inside me? Or was it some sort of test to see if I am truly healing?”
Everything was quiet again. Radagast stroked his chin seeming to be in deep thought. Frodo waited anxiously but shamefully for his comment.
“Donkey,” started the wizard. He placed a hand on Frodo’s shoulder. “You have a lot of good inside you. You’re lovingkindness and bravery is more than you can bear some times. I believe this was a test for you, but one to show you where work is still needed in your healing. The Queen’s jewel was not a substitute for the Ring, but an aid to help you.”
“That is what she told me when she slipped it around my neck.” Frodo looked down at the white gem and smiled. “It has been an aid and a comfort and I better companion piece than the Ring. But I not only need this jewel, you have been my greatest help and I see that clearer everyday. Radagast, you are a wonder.”
The old wizard smiled back now, and laid an affectionate hand atop Frodo’s head. “I do what is sent to me, and I am very grateful to have had my Donkey sent to me. Do you feel better now?”
“Yes, I believe I do” Frodo said, replacing the white gem in his shirt. “I feel I can sleep in peace for the rest of the night.”
*And for many nights to come* he said silently.
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.