1. I Will Take It
I felt Its stirrings the day It entered this hallowed vale and wondered at the wisdom of allowing Its presence here. Yet, Lord Elrond had my loyalty and love. I hoped he had made a wise choice. As the days progressed, and It remained within this valley, I realized my lord's cunning. He would take It and use It, of that I was finally certain. Sauron would be defeated by His own folly. I remembered the battles I had seen, especially the Dagorlad. My heart swelled with pride as I remembered us conquering His evil, then it plummeted in remembrance of the treachery of men.
Men are not trust worthy; I discovered that when Isildur kept the Ring against Lord Elrond's counsel. Prior to that, I had little experience with their race and no love. Though many trusted the line of Húrin, I kept apart from them. Did not Easterlings enter our lands, side with the Spawn of Morgoth, and battle against us? Now I was supposed to forget that treachery, that betrayal, and trust them, these short-lived, mindless beings. Close kin to Yrch, I call them. Though not openly. Nay, for is not my lord...?
My heart sank at the Council as I listened in disbelief. I watched those about me; not one agreed with me. It was to be carried by the Hobbit; a great quest was to begin; It would be destroyed. Over time, eight were chosen to accompany the Ringbearer. I placed my name before my lord, but I was not chosen. 'Mayhap,' I thought wonderingly, 'Lord Elrond plans to leave Middle-earth and cares not for this world we have lived in for ages almost beyond reckoning. I am not yet prepared to leave. I have naught to return to. I live under Mandos' curse.'
Unbelieving, I waited. I began to plan. Mettarë would be upon us shortly. The scouts were returning. I knew my time was drawing near. I must make my move, else It be lost forever. Sauron would have It and conquer this land. 'To Angband with Elrond,' I thought wildly. 'His wisdom is a fool's wisdom.' Carefully, I inquired amongst my company. Though concern mapped their faces, none questioned the Peredhel. I was not foolish enough to share my own thoughts. Just probed and prodded to see which way the wind blew. Bitterly, I discovered I would have to act alone.
I watched the Ringbearer closely, gained knowledge of his habits, and waited, but now, furtively, anxiously. I would have but one chance. If I tipped my hand and lost, they would know; I would be hunted down. I shivered. I am not one to be frightened by much, but what I proposed would seem treachery to many. I scowled. 'Treachery? It is wisdom. It cannot go to Mordor; Sauron will find It, easily take It from the weak hands that would protect It, and crush us all. I will not fail. I will take It myself. Elrond will have to deal with me.'
The Ringbearer left the Hall. His shadow slept, did not note his master's leaving. 'Perfect.' I followed, discreetly. As I walked, my brow furrowed. Never before had I skulked upon this hallowed land, yet my lord's actions now made it necessary. Hatred flared in my breast for the Half-elf. Sneering, I thought of all I would say, once It was mine. How I would show him his folly and my wisdom. The Hobbit did not go to his rooms. I rejoiced as he walked into the gardens. 'Easy prey,' I thought exultantly. 'Easier than hunting Yrch.' I put out my hand. So easy.
"Frodo," I smiled. "You forgot your cake. The cook would be dismayed to learn you did not eat it." I offered it to him. "I thought you might like some. Please, sit with me and share this." I gave him another smile and he returned it. Trusting me, he sat on the bench and took half of the piece. 'Fool,' I thought, 'your passions betray you.' I pretended I was distracted by a sound and did not bite into my half. He wolfed his down, as I had expected. I dropped mine in the grass. We chatted for a moment. So easy.
I waited, my breath catching as I saw the telltale signs. My hands shook in anticipation. His eyes began to droop. He apologized and made to leave. His legs would not hold him. I voiced my concern, said I would take him to Lord Elrond. He allowed me to pick him up. His eyes closed completely. I trembled in excitement. Walking swiftly, by devious paths, I found the stables. My horse was ready. I slung the body over the withers and mounted behind him. Another moment and I would be away. I held him; I could feel It. So easy.
I turned my horse's head to the south. Darkness hid me; I wanted to cry aloud in exultation, yet I held my tongue. 'Caution,' I told myself sternly. My mind sang instead, 'I have It. It is mine. I am conqueror of the world. I will spit in the faces of the Valar. I will hold Sauron himself in my hand. I will...' I felt the pain - deep, mind-numbing, breath-taking pain - between my shoulder blades. An arrow! Easy enough to discern. Tears filled my eyes. I had been found. The curse had found me at last. So easy.
I tried to hold on, but my hands would not obey me. I bit my lip, trying desperately to hold on with my knees, but in vain. In utter amazement, I felt myself falling. Never before had I fallen from a horse. The hard ground rushed towards me, towards my face. I tried to avert it, but could not. I felt, rather than saw, the Hobbit's body land next to me. I heard his gasp; consciousness returning. I choked on my blood and the laughter that forced itself from me. 'You fool. Too easy.'
A/N - I really wanted to 'name' the Elf - but he refused to cooperate. I'm sure some of you are thinking you know who it is... Shame on you - that probably means it's your favorite Elf and your lack of loyalty and trust are abysmal!
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.