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58
Least Expected

What if Halbarad’s first appearance had taken a different turn?

MEFAwards 2008: 3rd Place – Genres: Alternate Universe: Drabbles


~~~

Soon after crossing the Fords of Isen a sharp challenge disturbs the night.

“Halbarad Dúnadan, Ranger of the North I am,” I call back. “We seek one Aragorn son of Arathorn, and we heard that he was in Rohan.”

One rider comes forward from the shadowy host facing us. No warrior, this: a wizened figure, face oddly pale by starlight.

“You won’t find him here; unbidden stranger that he was...”

Too slow to react to his furtive hand-signal, the lethal arrow quickly robbing me of all senses but pain, the last I hear in life his mocking words:

“...like you.”

~~~

A/N:
- “Of all joys this is the least expected!” – Aragorn’s words in RotK, The Passing of the Grey Company.
- Halbarad’s dialogue is taken from the actual scene ibid.
- Gríma’s appearence is as described in TTT, The King of the Golden Hall.
- “We welcomed guests kindly in the better days, but in these times the unbidden stranger finds us swift and hard”, says Éomer in TTT, The Riders of Rohan.

18.05.08 B-drabble for Dwimordene, who requested AU stories.


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