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Twice Twenty  by Dreamflower


Another entry for 20_rings

Title: Reminder
Theme: Set #2, Theme #14, “Strength”
Genre (s): General
Pairing (s): N/A
Rating: G
Summary: In the aftermath of Gandalf’s loss, three members of the Company take a moment to themselves…


The hobbits are bent beneath the weight of their grief and their packs. I watch as they struggle to move forward; we have scarcely escaped the East Gate, and as the foes vanish back into the darkness of Moria, we come to a halt, finally overcome by our sudden loss.
Aragorn’s words echo in my ears:

“We must do without hope; at least we may be avenged. Let us gird ourselves and weep no more! Come! We have a long road, and much to do!”*

“Come, Gimli!” Boromir helps me to my feet; I see Legolas staring, stunned, disbelieving. I can scarce believe it myself. Sam sits hunched and weeping alone, while Merry and Pippin are huddled together in grief. Apart from us all, Frodo stands, staring back, tears falling unchecked down his face, which is as pale as the patches of snow that surround us.

We look about us, and Aragorn points the way to us. I do not need his prompting; I look behind at Zirakzigil, Bundushathűr and of course, Barazinbar, Caradhras the Cruel. I shake my fist at the mountain vainly, my imprecations weak and ineffectual. How cruel we had no way to know--had we known could we have chosen differently? And Gandalf--Gandalf, of all people, lost to us.

I glance down, down to the Mirrormere, and speak of my longing to look into the clear waters of Kheled-zâram. Though I know of our haste, I long to assuage my grief with a look into its clear waters. I have never had such a chance before, and there is no knowing if ever I shall have such a chance again. I do not believe Gandalf would have stayed me from a chance to do so, and I feel that perhaps it will give me strength, to draw from this place.

I see each landmark that has been described for me, from my earliest childhood, so that though never have I laid eyes on them before, it seems they are familiar to me.

I cannot resist. “That is Durin’s Stone!” I cry, “I cannot pass without turning aside for a moment to look at the wonder of the dale!”

Aragorn gives a grudging, though sympathetic, permission--along with the admonition, which I scarcely need, to make haste. Impulsively, I call to Frodo to join me. He turns aside, and Sam follows. Merry casts a glance at Frodo, but Pippin is still nearly incapacitated with sorrow, and he remains with his younger cousin.

There lies the mere, aptly named, it mirrors the surrounding mountains perfectly. We stoop over it, and see the stars, deep and glittering, as though a picture of a night sky limned with diamonds was there. Do I seek a sign? I do not know. Frodo and Sam stare as well. I see Sam draw a
deep breath, and draw his arm across his eyes; Frodo gazes an instant longer, and then he straightens up, I see a new set to his shoulders. He breathes out a long breath through his nose, and nods as if answering a question to himself.

I look once more into the clear and calm depths, unchanged by all else that has occurred. “O Kheled-zâram, fair and wonderful,” I murmur, “There lies the Crown of Durin till he wakes. Farewell!”

We three turn away, strengthened by this place, this sight, this reminder, that some things are eternal and enduring, in and of themselves.
* Words in italics taken directly from The Fellowship of the Ring, Book II, Chapter VI, “Lothlórien”

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