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Tales of Life  by Aelaer

Well, I have come upon a really nasty writer's block with the story I'm currently writing (not to be published until completion) so it's a good time to go back to these prompts, which I am now a couple years behind on :P

When I was a youngun, I wrote the encounter with Gandalf and Aragorn concerning the hunt for Gollum (Prompt 3). It, however, does not follow canon- I had completely forgotten about the passages in the Council of Elrond. I have been meaning to rewrite it for a while, and now here I have it.


Prompt 65: Direction
Ficlet: Advice
Rating: G
Eriador, October 3001 TA

'I called for the help of the Dúnedain, and their watch was doubled; and I opened my heart to Aragorn, the heir of Isildur.'

Two figures sat around a small, smokeless fire in a small clearing in what could only be described as the middle of nowhere. Despite the lack of company in the parts the two kept their voices low and even a keen-eared bird would be hard pressed to overhear their conversation.

The younger of the two exhaled, a wisp of smoke escaping his mouth as he did. A strange glint shone in his eyes as he sucked on the edge of his pipe. "So you believe Bilbo's trinket to be the One."

The elder, a pipe in his own mouth, gently blew out a smoke ring before slowly nodding. "I do, Aragorn. It would explain his strange manner and his slow aging, among other things. I am not yet certain, however- there is no proof showing that it is this thing long thought lost."

"Nevertheless Gandalf, we must be cautious," said Aragorn. "I agree with your suggestion to double the watch around the Shire. There will be questions from some," he slightly grimaced as he thought about Halbarad, "but such questions are easily avoided."

Gandalf smiled slightly at the expression, but he sobered and stared deeply into the fire. "If indeed this ring turns out to be the one the Enemy seeks," he started, "I would know how it came to the creature Gollum. Even if it does not turn out to be what I suspect it to be, Gollum is the only one who could provide information to prove- or disprove- my theories."

The dark-haired man said nothing for a while, keeping his eyes on the fire. His pipe was left forgotten in his hand as he fell deep into thought. "If that is so," he began slowly, "then he must be found."

"Do you believe him still alive?"

"Yes. And even if he is not, it must be discovered what happened to him. If this ring had the same effect on him as it did Bilbo, he would not stay in his dark home long. I believe he left long ago in search for it, and he must be found before the Enemy hears rumor of him." He lifted his gaze from the fire to the wizard's eyes. "I will search for him."

The elderly man said nothing but stared at him knowingly. Finally he said, "You mean we, of course." He chuckled at the man's startled look. "You did not think I would send you on this task by yourself, did you? No, my friend, despite what you may think, this is my task, though I do admit your help would be most beneficial."

"Very well, then," he replied with a soft smile. He lifted up his pipe in a mock toast. "To the hopeless task ahead." Gandalf repeated the gesture and then sucked on his pipe for the last time that night, releasing a small smoke ring into the dark, star-filled sky.

'And I,' said Aragorn, 'counselled that we should hunt for Gollum, too late though it may seem. And since it seemed fit that Isildur's heir should labour to repair Isildur's fault, I went with Gandalf on the long and hopeless search.' - The Council of Elrond





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