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~Talks Under Starlight~
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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1
~Talks Under Starlight~

Rating: K/PG
Characters: Frodo, Sam, Gildor, OMC Elf
Disclaimer: As always, I own nothing. In it for the fun, not for the money.


~~~

~Talks Under Starlight~

Rating: K/PG
Characters: Frodo, Sam, Gildor, OMC Elf
Disclaimer: As always, I own nothing. In it for the fun, not for the money.

The elves brought food on heaped plates, and also a drink which went to the head like wine and loosened the hobbbits’ tongues. Sam was at first too much taken in by the whole situation to say anything. He watched the fair people going to and fro, light surrounding them, in stark contrast to the darkness of the woods. His head seemed to swim, and that did not come from the drink alone. Something was in the air, so dense he could almost touch it. It emanated from the bright voices and laughter of the elves, from the light surrounding them, from Frodo’s smile across the table...

“Sam!” Hey, Sam!” Frodo’s voice interrupted his thoughts. “Sam, are you ill? You’ve been sitting in front of a full table for ten minutes now, and you haven’t touched anything?” Frodo laughhed, as did Merry and Pippin who were sitting close by, already tucking into meat and bread. Merry raised his cup to Sam, who absently did likewise. “Cheers!” Sam watched Frodo conversing with the elves. He is so fluent in their tongue, he thought, looking at his master, who seemed to be much at ease talking with Gildor and the other elves. Sam felt rather intimidated by them. They were so strange. But be that as it might, his friends were right about the food. He piled his plate high and began to eat. It tasted better than anything he’d ever eaten before, and he wondered if the elves were using magic on their gardens.

He turned to an elf sitting next to him. “That’s great!” The elf smiled. “Thanks, Halfling.” I’m not ‘half’ anything, thought Sam. That word of theirs. The elf turned towards him.

“Say... what would a Halfling be leaving the Shire for? I always thought your kind were ones who, you know, stayed put?”

Sam looked at the elf, who seemd to know more than he or Frodo had told any of them. His insides seemed to curl up. How much did he know, and who had told him? Well, the best way to find that out seemed to be to actually talk to him.

“Say...,”he began, trying to imitate the elf’s pronunciation, “what evil would it do if you first told me your name, sir? Mine’s Sam Gamgee, lest we forget.”

The elf laughed. “Elenyar,” he said. Sam nodded briefly and took a quick draught from his cup before facing the elf again. “And how would you know my master is leaving the Shire?”

The elf said nothing. Instead, he frowned and then curled his lips upwards ever so slightly. Now what is that supposed to mean, Sam thought.

“I do not know why your “master” is leaving or why the Enemy is in pursuit of him. But I do know that he is certainly not intending to stay in Crickhollow.” Sam seemed unconvinced. “Our kind has access to many ears and eyes. But be not afraid. His secret is safe with us.”

Sam wondered if he could trust that. Still, it seemed only fair to tell the elf something in return. But still, he decided to play the simple, unknowing servant.

“Well, he has not really told me about any details. But since you know he's leaving, there's no use for me to deny it. But all I know is, I wont’t let him go alone.”

The elf laughed. “Now here's what I call a friend!” He looked at the Halfling beside him who was enjoying the meal thoroughly. Such a good-hearted, simple fellow. Did he actually know what he was letting himself in for? He bestowed a warm smile upon Sam.

Sam looked up. “Well... he needs someone to look after him.” The elf smiled. “You seem to have your mind made up. But remember: great danger may befall both of you, and maybe him even more than you. So don't you leave him.”

Sam started at the thought. “Leave him!” he almost shouted. The elf was taken aback by the determination gleaming in Sam’s eyes. “I never mean to. I am going with him, if he climbs to the Moon, and if any of these Black Riders try to stop him, they’ll have Sam Gamgee to reckon with.”

The elf half-laughed. “And if you must know;” Sam continued softly, driven partly by drink and partly by his emotions, “if you must know, Merry and Pippin are coming too.” He grinned. “He thinks he has fooled them. He still thinks he can leave them here and go off, never to return, and they wouldn’t care. Imagine that!” He looked down at his plate. He wanted to leave me behind at first, he thought. I could not have borne that. What was he thinking?

Gildor, who had been sitting next to Frodo, had overheard Sam’s talk. There was apparently more to these Halflings than met the eye. Old Bilbo had always appeared to him as a notable exception to the otherwise infallible rule that Halflings were only interested in food, drink, and pipe-weed. He had hardly ever thought of them as capable of deeper, nobler feelings. And yet...

~

“So do you know anything about these Black Riders? I mean, who are they? What do they want from me?” Gildor frowned. How much could he tell the Halfling without completely disheartening him? Especially when his friend was sitting there curled upat his “master’s” feet, who might or might not be asleep. He took a deep breath. “Well, in a way they are like you,” he said finally.

“Like me?” Frodo glared at him in atonishment. “How are these dreadful things like me?”

“They, too, are Ringbearers, Frodo.” Gildor sighed. “Or, they were, once, when they were alive.” Frodo had of course heard old wives’ tales of ghosts and ghouls. But these were fables told to children on long dark winter nights. “You mean they are – what, dead?” Gildor looked at him with a wry half-smile. This Halfling was so daring as to set out on a perilous voyage, and yet in so many ways he was so innocent, so unprepared. “Worse,” he said. “They do not live, nor are they dead. They are but shadowsof Men, and yet they are powerful because of the Drak Master they serve.”

Frodo sat in silence, pondering this. Eventually he sighed. “So how many of them are there? And how am I meant to escape them? If they’re so powerful and all, I mean.” He looked down on Sam and felt his heart sink within him. Sweet young Sam, who would look after hot water and food for his master, who would carry all the heavy baggage, who would not be parted from his side even at the cost of a hole in the back from his present rather uncomfortable sleeping position.

Gildor’s feather light hand gently stroked Frodo’s hair. He remembered what Sam had told him, remembered the laughing faces of the Halflings at the feast and the determination in Sam’s eyes.

“Do not go alone. Take such friends as are trusty and willing.”

~~~

A/N: Yes, I know that the elf's name is a bit corny. Apart from that: Inspiration came from the scene which is on pp. 96-100 in my edition of LOTR. Sam's speech starting with "Leave him!" is straight out of that, as is Gildor telling Frodo to "take such friends as are trusty and willing." Thanks Juno for the remark about Sam - I changed that now. As for the Black Riders, I know Frodo's not told about them in the books, but that's for dramatic reasons, so I changed that too.

"It's not a canon error, it's creativity."

Have fun.


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