Pippin was barely awake, in spite of desperate attempts to rouse him. "I do not want him to wake suddenly while I am chipping at this iron cuff." Gimli examined the metal carefully. "He may make a sudden move and I fear to cut into his flesh further."
"I know Gimli, but he does not seem to hear me." Gandalf patted Pippin's face a touch harder and this time his eyes opened a little. "Pippin can you hear me? I need you to answer." The small hobbit just frowned and rolled his head to look at what Gimli was doing to his arm and tried to pull away from him.
"No Pippin." Gandalf turned the hobbit's face back to look into his eyes. "You must lie still. Do you understand? Try to answer me." Pippin struggled, but gave no sign of hearing or recognition.
Gandalf and Gimli had taken Pippin into a disused guardroom near the gates of Isengard. The floodwaters had receded enough that they were able to reach it without wading and it was warm and relatively clean. Gandalf had laid Pippin, wrapped in Gimli's cloak, on a high wooden table. They were still waiting for Aragorn and Legolas to return, although they had sent word with one of the Rohirrim that they were needed urgently.
Gimli had braved the floodwaters in Saruman's foundry and managed to find the right tools to remove the manacle from Pippin's wrist, but it was not going to be a simple matter as the metal was cutting deeply into the hobbit's swollen flesh.
Pippin's small body trembled with pain or fear, Gandalf thought perhaps both, and he writhed as though in agony every so often. "Yet you make no sound?" the wizard said out loud.
"Perhaps he has no sound to make."
Gandalf and Gimli were startled briefly but turned to see Legolas had entered the room, softly and silently, as was his habit. The elf walked over to gaze down at the injured hobbit. "I sense much turmoil in him, but it seems to be locked within."
"Can you reach him, Master Elf?" Gimli asked, he knew that elves could touch the minds of others, but was not sure to what extent.
Legolas closed his eyes and focussed on Pippin, trying to reach his thoughts. "His mind is in torment, but he cannot speak or hear."
"Saruman!" Gandalf exclaimed. "He took Merry's sight and he has taken Pippin's hearing and speech. Poor little things to have been made to suffer so much cruelty."
"Yes," said Legolas moving to put his hand on Pippin's face. He traced a finger down Pip's uninjured cheek. "I think that is so, but the little one's thoughts are very muddled. He is in much pain and does not know how to focus his mind to communicate in this way."
"Legolas, we need to tell him to keep still and that Gimli is going to take this manacle off." Gandalf indicated the frightful mangled wrist. "Can you reassure him?"
"I will try." Legolas stroked Pippin's sweat dampened hair from his face and looked intently into the frightened green eyes. 'Pippin, listen to me. It is Legolas. Can you hear me? Just think very hard what you need to say.'
'not. . . hurt i. . . please. . . merry help! stop! don't know. . . please. .. merry!'
'Pippin, listen to my voice. Say my name in your mind, then I will know you have heard me.'
'i… i don't. . . can't know… what is? l- le – legolas. . . legolas!'
'Very good, Pippin. Now listen carefully. Gimli is going to take the metal cuff off your wrist. But it is too near your skin. He needs you to keep very still and not struggle – can you do that? Can you say "Yes" to me?'
'd -does – but so hurts, not mean go – move. can't help, not still all times, make hurt i - got move, where merry?'
'Wait, I will ask Gandalf.' Legolas shook himself slightly as he withdrew his mind from Pippin's. The torment of pain and emotion in the little hobbit's thoughts was very draining. "Gandalf, where is Merry? Pippin is asking."
"He is all right. I had to leave him at the top of the Orthanc because I needed to get help for Pippin urgently. I had thought to send you up for him, but I think you are needed here now to calm this little one. Théoden has climbed up to take care of him in the meantime, so he is not alone."
"I will tell Pippin that." Legolas turned back to the hobbit. "Once Gimli is ready to start I will go back into the little one's mind. I think that I can absorb a lot of his pain if he will let me. It will make it easier for him."
"Dire for you though," Gimli added.
"Nothing I would not willingly endure for this little one." Legolas smiled at the Dwarf.
Before they could resume, Aragorn entered the guardroom and was quickly brought up to date on the situation. He looked at Pippin's injury with a heavy heart. "It will take much to repair this dreadful hurt, but I agree with Gandalf, urgent attention will be the best medicine. As soon as you have removed the cuff Gimli, I will reset the bone."
Legolas leaned over Pippin again and focussed deep into his eyes. 'Pippin, Pippin, hear my voice. Do you hear me?'
A tiny mental whisper replied. "legolas?"
'Yes. Do not be afraid, I am going further into your mind now, to where your pain is lying. Will you let me come there?
'hurts… not go in there, not do. . . it not. . .not to go!'
'Pippin, let me come in, it will hurt you less.'
'bad. . . not do. . . not tell. . . legolas?'
'Yes, it's all right, I won't look where I shouldn't. Now, let me by, I am going to share the pain with you.'
Pippin's mind softly yielded to the Elf's persuasion and Legolas melted into the agony that was there. He sobbed aloud in the hobbit's soft brogue. "Merry help me! It hurts so much!"
Gimli felt the resistance in Pippin's arm fade and set to work at once on the manacle, sawing at it and then chipping into the seam he had made. It took 3 or 4 minutes of frenzied work but then the cuff fell to the ground.
Legolas screamed out with Pippin's pain. "Aiiiiee! No please stop! Please no more! Merry!"
Slowly he eased himself out of the dark pain-filled part of the hobbit's mind into the sanctuary of Pippin's thoughts. He was met by a frantic question.
'legolas! where merry go please. . . where he?'
Legolas remembered he had not answered the earlier request. 'Merry is still on Orthanc but he is with Théoden the King of Rohan and he will stand guard over him. You have nothing to fear.'
'not! not be there. is to come!. . . comes it!'
'What Pippin? What's wrong? Legolas could not mistake the sheer terror in the little one's mind. 'Tell me!'
'from glass ball – saruman made look i– it big!… scared at i… on orth-nanck to fetch at us.'
'Who is going to fetch you? Pippin, tell me! Who is coming? Think of the words!'
''it big… scared… merry there! not! not! wraith go at he!'
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.