The Fourth Halfling

by Harthad

II  III  IV  V  VI
Letters from Peregrin  II  III  IV  V  VI  VII  VIII  IX

I.

The Fourth Halfling

"Get me some bread you filthy halfling!" an orc shouted at the smallest person in Barad-Dur.

Peregrin stumbled over to the table where last night's bread was and gave it to the orc. He sniffed it, picked out a maggot and stuffed the whole hunk into his mouth. His partner, Gristle, threw a chicken leg at Peregrin who easily dodged it.

"Get me some too before I eat you raw." said Gristle.

"Er. . . " said Peregrin. "There's no more left."

Gristle trundled over and stuffed his face into Peregrin's.

"Well then you'll do just fine." he said.

Peregrin stood stock still, waiting.

"Gristle, ya can't threaten the master's own boy. Back off."

Gristle did back off, which was unusual because he never listened to orders from an orc.
Peregrin turned around and saw one of the Witch-King's messengers standing in the tower doorway.

"Master says that I'm to bring the halfling to him straight away." the nasel voice rasped.

He left the tower leaving Peregrin rooted to the floor. Peregrin had never been to see the master, let alone come to his tower. He had always been living in this tower with Gristle and the other orc. But he did remember a bright green country, with flowers and the sun. He wished he could visit that place again to find out who he was. His only memory of that place was his name.
Peregrin Took.

Peregrin trudged up the stairs to get to the tower where the Master was. He opened the door with a creak and slowly poked his head around the door.

"Come in, Peregrin." the Witch-King said.

Peregrin bowed low in front of the Witch-King. He beckoned for Peregrin to stand up and sit by him.

"Pergrin, I have called you here to do a special service for me."

Peregrin grinned. He was never ever asked to do special services.

"What, milord? What do I have to do?"

"Peregrin, you are being released from your tower today to complete this task. Do you remember the Dark Lord's Ring?"

Peregrin nodded.

"Someone stole it from him. A halfling, like you by the name of Baggins."

Peregrin frowned.

"But why don't we just ask him to give it back, milord?"

The Witch-King laughed.

"Peregrin, you are forgetting the tale of how I rescued you from your people. Your people are monsters;they yearn for dark, unspeakable things that only the darkest beings would like. You were imprisoned by a wizard, Old Graybeard was his name. I rescued you and brought you here so you may be safe. No, Peregrin, the one who has stolen the Ring means to destroy us. He will not be nice and just hand it over. You must get the Ring back and bring it to the Dark Lord."

The Witch-King stared at Peregrin long and hard.

"There will be many foes on your quest. To keep you from believing these lies that people say I will-"

"But Master, I will never believe these lies. I have been trained long and hard."

The Witch-King sighed, impatient.

"Peregrin, do not interrupt. I will establish a mind link so I can give you advice while you travel. I am not saying that you are weak and wont be able to resist, but the elves are very skilled in sorcery and they will do anything to make you do what they want. To invoke this mind link, I will call aloud your true name."

Peregrin stood up and closed his eyes and waited.

"ANGAYASSE ANTUULIEN!"

He screamed as if in pain and sank to the floor.

Far away in The Shire, Frodo Baggins heard Peregrin's scream as clearly as if it was his own.


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II.

A Quest of his Own

Two months later, Peregrin trudged through the wilderness thinking of what the Witch-King said.

If my people were murderers, how come I'm different?

Maybe the Witch-King is lying. .

He can't be lying, he never lies.

How do you know he hasn't changed?

With that thought in mind, he gazed up at the sky, wondering if the Master was going to come on his Fell Beast or his horse.

Gazing up at the sky was a big mistake. He halted before an elf dressed in silver garb who had an arrow at his throat.

"Hi. . Just passing through. . .what is this place?" Peregrin mumbled.

The arrow was raised a little higher.

" Who are you? You wear the livery of the Black Tower, yet you are no taller than a dwarf." the elf questioned.

Peregrin was confused.

"What black tower? I came from that glowing green tower where all the Nazgul live. And I'm a halfling, not a dwarf."

The elf gasped in surprise. He hadn't known that a halfling would know about the Nazgul, the Black Riders or of Cirith Ungol.

"I know not what your intentions may be, or who you are, but the rule for all newcomers, regardless of shape and size, is that you must come to see the Lady of the Golden Wood."

"So this place is the Golden wood?" asked Peregrin as he journeyed with the elf.

"Yes, fair Lothlorien, we call it."

They came to a clearing in which stood the Lady Galadriel and Lord Celeborn.

"We heard news of your arrival and decided to meet you here." the Lady said. To Peregrin, her voice was like the sound of a clear brook, or a leaf falling gently.

He didn't quite know what it was but he felt he needed to trust whatever she said. Despite what the Witch-King said, he felt that elves could be trusted and even obeyed.

Lady Galadriel swept over to Peregrin and said,

"Young one, you know not of the great task that a halfling like you has been called upon to do. Your task, I know, is similar but instead of evil intent. With bringing the Ring back to your master, the Dark Lord, you will destroy Lothlorien. You will destroy the beauty of this world, including your homeland, The Shire."

Peregrin was shocked. The Lady knew about that green country, the one that he knew about only in memories. She knew what it was called which was better than what he would have known had he not traveled out of Mordor.

Then the mental link that the Witch-King founded in him came to life.

"Angayasse Antuulien, why do you believe these lies? They are fool's talk, nothing more. With the Ring, the Dark Lord will make the world into a realm of light and even more beauty than there is here. Do not believe these mind-addled elves."


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III.

Orcs

Peregrin was troubled. It had been three weeks since he had fled from Lothlorien and he had begun to see mountains in the distance. However was he going to get over those? His steps had begun to get weary, and he thought he saw a big black tower looming before him. There were great trees surrounding it but even as he admired their strength and beauty, one of them toppled over with a loud groan. There were dark, dense shapes shouting and destroying the trees.

Orcs!

Peregrin gasped in astonishment because he had never seen orcs since he had left Mordor. He ran forward to see clearer and his foot snagged on a rock. He fell, his senses deserting him. But the last thing he saw before falling into unconsciousness was a giant dark bird swooping down to him with a gray-robed man on it's back.

The fragrance of fresh apples and clear, sparkling water lingered in the air as Peregrin woke up in a warm, soft bed. He breathed in the air, reveling in the sweet prospect of staying here forever.

But where was 'here'?

Peregrin looked around and saw that he was not in the only bed in the room. A boy was lying in a bed a few feet away from him and an old man was sitting in a wooden chair next to that bed. Peregrin's gaze traveled to the beauty of this place. Trees were towering outside of his room and he noticed flowers growing in a bowl on a table next to him.


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IV.

Awakening

The old man stirred in his chair, rustling his robes.

"Ah! You're awake. I am Gandalf. Now who might you be?"

Peregrin just stared.

"Er. . . I'm Peregrin. Peregrin Took."

Gandalf's eyes widened for a moment as if he remembered something.

"Are you a hobbit?"

Peregrin was confused.

"What's that?"

"Imagine that! A hobbit who doesn't know he's a hobbit!" Gandalf muttered to himself.

"I'm a halfling, I know that. The Witch-King told me."

Gandalf laughed. "The Witch-King! The Witch-King! Now how would a hobbit like yourself know about the Witch-King?"

Peregrin's face was deadpan serious.

"He invited me to lunch."

"What?! He invited you to-"

Gandalf's face changed instantly.

"You can't be serious."

"Why don't you believe me? The Witch-King told me he knew everyone and everyone knew him."

Gandalf's frown appeared.

"My young boy, is what you say true? That you have been in the service of the Witch-King?"

Peregrin was about to knod his head yes but the mental link flashed to life.

"Angayasse Antuulien, why do you trust this old man? He claims to be called Gandalf, but I know better. This is the wizard who captured you when you were young, Old Graybeard his name is. Do not tell him anymore about me, or your mission."

What Gandalf saw as Peregrin was receiving orders from the Witch-King was Peregrin shaking uncontrollably, his eyes turning black. He recovered as Gandalf reached for his staff.

"You! You captured me? Why did you do that, huh, Old Graybeard? The Witch-King has been the nicest person I ever met! Why wouldn't he invite me for lunch?"

"STAY THIS MADNESS!"

Peregrin cowered against his bed as Gandalf towered above him.

"Young one, you are mislead. It was not I who captured you, but the Witch-King."

All the lies and truths in Peregrin's head jumbled together so what came out of his mouth was a seemingly meaningless babble.

"But how. .I mean. . The Shire. . .Old Man. . .No. . .green. . .with flowers. . .The Ring. . . how. . .did it get lost. . . .No. . .no. . ."

He curled up into a ball as the truth of what Gandalf told him hit home.

"All my life I've been fed lies. . . . Why shouldn't you be any different?"

He looked up, his tear-filled eyes staring straight into Gandalf's.

"Misery Returned. . . that's what I am."

Peregrin fled the room.


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V.

Five Months Later

Frodo huddled closer to Sam as they rested for a bit climbing up Mount Doom. His heart was beating fast after the encounter at Cirith Ungol. His thoughts reached out to Gollum and where he was or if he was even alive. His thoughts wandered to that strange hobbit, Peregrin, who was in the service of the Dark Lord. No one ever knew his true intentions, or why he had fled Rivendel and never was seen again. Frodo sometimes heard someone yelling in his dreams, someone with a very hobbit-like voice. . . .

Aragorn, Gandalf, Merry, Legolas and Gimli were rallying the troops, ready for an attack at the Black Gate.

"There may come a day when the courage of men fails, an hour of wolves before the Age of Men comes crashing down- but it will not be this day! THIS DAY WE FIGHT!"

"YAH!" cried the soldiers.

They marched to the Black Gate, their mighty king in front. When they reached the Gate, the big, black, obsidian doors opened with a loud creak.
Two figures stepped out, one very short and the other tall and ugly.
Gandalf, Aragorn, Merry, Legolas and Gimli rode up to meet them.

"I am the Mouth of Sauron. Is there anyone in this rout with authority to treat with me? Or indeed, with wit to understand me? Not thou, at least!" the Mouth mocked, turning to Aragorn with scorn.

"I have the wit to understand you, you big ugly brute! Stop ridiculing my king and his friends. They deserve no more than they already have."

The smaller figure bowed to Aragorn and said,

"Forgive him, Aelfwine Elvea, Elf-friend Star-like. He knows not of the courtesy some people would like."

Aragorn stared at the short being. How would this person know his name?
The short person turned to Gandalf.

"And you, Enwina Atan, Old Man, I am sorry for the trouble I have caused you. Oh yes, I have seen you, murmuring and muttering to yourself of what you could have done for me, to make me understand. But no one could have done better."

Gandlaf, like Aragorn, stared at the shorter being. He looked awfully familiar.
The short person stared back, then sighed.

"Oh, come on now Enwina Atan, Gandalf, don't you know who I am?"

When no reply came, he walked up to Merry.

"Erda Eket, Deserted Sword, I should have been at your side all these years, trying to be the hobbit I would have been if not for the Witch-King. I am sorry for that."

While the hobbit was saying all this, the Mouth of Sauron had tensed up, annoyed with Peregrin for being so nice. It was time to teach him a lesson. A hard lesson.
The Mouth of Sauron lifted up his arm and swung it across Peregrin's head sending him crashing to the dirty, dusty, mud cracked barren ground.


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VI.

Conclusion

Merry was very confused by this point. Who was this hobbit?

Then the Mouth of Sauron hit the hobbit sending him to the ground, and Merry knew who he was. Merry lunged for the Mouth and stabbed him straight through the leg.

"ARGGG!" yowled the Mouth.

"That's for Pippin!" yelled Merry who ran away from the Mouth with Gimli and Legolas on horseback.

To finish it off, Aragorn swiped off the Mouth's head with no remorse. He then picked up the young hobbit and escorted him to where the soldiers were.
Peregrin woke up beside Merry.

"You. . .called me Pippin."

"Yeah. Now you know who you were meant to be. Oh and, by the way, I found these letters yesterday. They're signed 'P'."

"I. . .I wrote them. When I was in my tower. But how. . .how did you find them?"

"I don't know. They simply were there in my room in Gondor yesterday. Maybe Gandalf had something to do with it."

That day, the day Sauron was destroyed, Peregrin fought alongside Merry as bravely as Aragorn. He fought to end his master's reign and he fought for what would have happened if he had been a normal hobbit. He said this once to Merry,

"I don't really know what would have happened if the Witch-King had not visited the Shire that day when I disappeared from there. But maybe, just maybe, things would have not turned out so bad."

And we all know they didn't.


* * * * * * * *
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Letters from Peregrin

I.

I can only hope that someone is reading this. Someone normal, I mean. Someone like an elf, a dwarf, a man, a wizard or even a. . a hobbit. Nothing like those stinky orcs. Or my Master. If he saw these, he would make me suffer. A lot. Maybe even worse than I already am. . .

I left that room two days ago. The room with the old man, Gandalf, I think he called himself. I've been thinking about what he said. About the Witch-King capturing me. Why would he do that? What could he want of me? There are so many questions unanswered about my life. I have been walking on, and on. I entered a forest yesterday. There I heard voices. Voices! I had never expected to come upon other life. I hid as best I could and sought to take a look at the newcomers. There was a tall man who had a kingly air about him but was covered in dirt and weather-stained clothing. Huddled next to him were three people my size. I think they were halflings, I mean hobbits, but I do not know. Then a man walked into where they were and he spotted me. Or, at least I think he did because he walked over to the bush where I was hidden. I held my breath, waiting to see if he would find me. He did.

"Who are you?" he asked.

"Why is that the one question everyone's asking of me?" I breathed back.

"It is because without an introduction, a person would not know who you are and what side you are on."

"Do you want me to answer your question truthfully or falsely?"

He nodded for truth. I took a deep breath and said,

"I am Peregrin Took. I used to be a servant of the Dark Lord and-"

"Boromir? Why are you talking to that bush?" An old man came to where the others were. I gasped. It was the old man! G-Gandalf! I backed away, hoping he didn't see me and took off with only the slightest rustle of leaves.


II.

It has been days since I had my last meal. I have been running and running non stop until I finally collapsed. I think I fell unconscious but I'm not sure. I could go for a hunk of bread right now. I am just so hungry. I have been captured by a group of men with long blond hair. They haven't stopped until now. I climbed down from the horse on which I am sitting to take a better look around. There are bodies of men and horses lying on the ground. Most of them are dead but a few are wounded. A man calls over a man who I know to be the captain of this group to have him take a look at one of the bodies. They are saying something about 'the son of the king' and 'Theoden'. I don't care about anything right now, except food. . .

We rode out again in the night. They are saying something about orcs and how we will attack them. Suddenly we come upon a sleeping horde of orcs. The men charge in and attack them straight away. I fell off my horse onto an orc who spoke.

"You've come back then, haven't you, you halfling?"

It was Gristle! I wondered briefly if this was a dream and then took to pummeling him. He lashed out with his sword and caught me across the forehead. Then the captain of the men kills him and helps me up. That is the last thing I remember from that night, although maybe I saw a short figure fleeing into the woods.

I wake up when we are stopped and when it is daylight. The men are confronting a group of three people; an elf, a man and a dwarf. They say that they are enemies of Sauron. How I wish to go with them! As if hearing my thoughts, the captain lets me climb off his horse to be with these people. I take a closer look at them and find that the man is the same that I saw with Gandalf!

"I know you." I mumble.

The man seems taken aback.

"How?" he says in disbelief.

"I saw you in the forest. I was hidden in the bush when the other man, Boromir I think he was, spoke to me."

The man looked grief-stricken.

"Oh Boromir, Why did you not tell us of this before you died!" he cried.

And I must stop there for now, reader for I am so very tired. Until next time.


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III.

We have ridden into the giant forest to search for something. Or someone. I do not know for sure as the man is saying something about a 'Merry'. What could that be?

The elf is questioning me about who I am. I tell him the truth as I have no choice in the matter. He is amazed at what I tell him but is still a little doubtful. After that, something happened which I feared would not ever again. My Master spoke in my head. He said,


"Angayasse Antuulien, why do you stay with these people? They feed lies into your brain. Do not listen to them!"

I know in my heart that I do not believe him but my mind says otherwise. I try to sneak out of the woods but the dwarf catches me and brings me back. The man starts talking with me.

"Peregrin, why did you try to run away?"

I hesitate for a moment but answer with,

"The Witch-King spoke in my mind and told me to run away. I tried not to listen but he made me do it."

The man drew in a breath and said,

"It is as I feared. You have a connection with the Witch-King."

He paused a moment the continued,

"Would you like to see what happened the night you were captured?"

"How?" I say, a little fearful.

"I will give you that memory. I don't know how I do it myself but it is a handy thing to learn. I'm afraid that I will have to knock you unconscious."

I brace myself for the incoming blow and, as he hits me, I hear a phrase in a language I don't know.

"Tulya, talant-hen, tulya. Taeg perian o athan thinna nedna taeg aare."*

* Translation: Come, fallen child, come. The halfling from beyond fades into the sunlight.

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IV.

This what I saw, what the man showed me:

The cozy interior of the Brandybuck Hall warms all the little hobbit children inside. An old man is sitting in an armchair next to the fire, his gray robes tucked in around him. The hobbit children are nestled around his feet, listening to his tale of a time long ago.

"And so those nine kings of men fell under the power of the Ring and became wraiths, forever slaves to the Dark Lord, Sauron. And that's all for tonight."

The little hobbits sighed.

"Don't you fret, I will tell you more tomorrow, in the daylight. For there are dark stories better told in the sun."

The children emptied the hall one by one, being picked up by their parents to take them home to their hobbit holes. Although two children stayed behind to ask the old man some questions.

"Gandalf, is it true that all the wra-wra-wra-"

"Wraiths, Pippin" said his companion, Merry.

"Wraiths were destroyed? And they are all gone now?"

The old man looked at him quizzically.

"Peregrin Took, my lad, they were most certainly not destroyed. But do not worry. they will never come here, not to the Shire, oh no."

Merry and Pippin ran off, thanking Gandalf as they went.
In the corner of Brandybuck Hall, a ranger listened intently to what the two children said.

****

Bilbo walked around the woods of the Shire with Strider, telling him about what had happened in the night.

"Oh yes, a young hobbit lad just disappeared in the middle of the night! Last his cousin, Meriadoc, saw of him was as he ran into his hobbit hole. And then, poof! No sign of him at all!"

"And what was this young lad's name, might I ask?"

"His name was Peregrin. Peregrin Took. Second cousin to my dear Frodo, as luck might have it. Now Frodo will never know him. . ."

"Bilbo, I have to be off. I must contact Gandalf and the Dunedain to speak to them of this mysterious event. Until we meet again!"

"Farewell, Estel, Strider. Farewell!"



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V.

A lot has happened since I wrote my last letter. I am riding to some place called Edoras with the man, the elf, the dwarf and Gandalf. But let me back up and tell you what happened.

We came upon a figure in white in the forest. The man thought he was an evil wizard so he told the rest of us to not let him cast a spell. They raised their weapons to attack but the wizard defended himself with his staff, shining a brilliant white light. When they were shielding their eyes from the brilliance, I ran up and kicked him, not knowing who he was. I think that he was not expecting an attack from one so small. The bright light dwindled and sank to a candlelight. The man looked upon the old man's face for the first time clearly and gasped.

"Gandalf!" he cries and sinks to his knees.

The dwarf and elf also followed his example. I just stood there, confused.

"Ah, yes, that was my name. Gandalf." Gandalf says.

I stand there, my brain not processing this fast enough. Is this really the old man? Is this really Gandalf? Shouldn't I be running away?
But something holds me there. I cannot move at all. I think it is his magic, or maybe it is just my conscious. Gandalf's voice stirs me out of my thoughts, saying,

"And so we meet again, Peregrin. I had wondered of what became of you."

I respond by saying,

"I am sorry, G-Gandalf."

"My dear boy, you have naught to apologize for. It was the Witch-King, it was his doing."

With that said, the man, Gandalf, the elf and dwarf talk about where he was. I am not really listening. They finish talking and Gandalf says,

"Let us go to Edoras."

I turn to him and say,

"Great. Where are we going?"
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VI.

We have entered a great, magnificent hall in Edoras, Medusled I think it is called. There is an old, decrepit man with a crown sitting on the throne at the back of the hall. A small man in black robes leans by him, whispering words of advice in his ear. But Gandalf fears that they are not words of advice; he thinks they are words of poison. I don't know anything; the man looks harmless enough for my liking. How wrong I was. . .

Gandalf is pointing his staff at the old man, making him shake and cry out. The smaller men has grabbed me by the throat and is holding me up in the air. Forget what I said about harmless. This man is like a snake! An evil one, with fangs. A woman with long blond hair has run into the room and the man is holding her back from rushing to the old man's aid. I think she is very pretty. Then, it all stops. All the movement, all the noise, everything. The old man is getting up from his throne, and something has changed. It seems like he is getting younger again! His golden hair flows out of his head once more and his face has less wrinkles. He steps down and turns toward the smaller man and me.

"Grima, drop him."

Grima releases me and I fall to the floor. He sneers and says,

"You would not have me do so if you knew who he was, friend Theoden."

"You are, and never were, my friend since you started filling my head with poisonous lies, Grima."

He takes Grima by the collar, walks toward the great entrance to the hall and pushes him out. Grima falls down the steps and pleads with Theoden to not kill him but Theoden does not listen. His is preparing to strike when the man that I have been traveling with stops him. Grima backs away, hops on a horse that is just standing there, and rides away. I do not know if we will ever see him again.
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VII.

I have been given a room of my own, one that is next to the Lady Eowyn's. Yes, that's her name, Eowyn, the lady with blond hair. I mentioned her to you, reader, in my last letter. I still think she is pretty. She is very caring and she understands me. She has come into my room now, and I am talking with her.

"Peregrin, what are you writing there?"

"Nothing, my lady. Just. . . . stuff."

"Oh, I see, they're love letters. To your beloved."

I blush and sit down on my bed.

"I have no love, Eowyn. I never learned to love."

She comes over and sits by me.

"Oh, Peregrin, everyone knows how to love. It's just a matter of finding the right person."

"Maybe. Maybe, If they had been living here, in Edoras, or The Shire, but where I lived, people had no love. I guess they never found it. Orcs don't know how to love. Nazgul don't know how to love, even the Witch-King has no love inside him. And me? I'm just the same as them."

"No, you are different. Just because you didn't grow up in a wonderful place doesn't mean that you don't know how to love. You loved your homeland, didn't you?"

I nodded my head yes.

"See? You have found love, even in the most unlikeliest places. Now, let's go and see if they have something ready in the kitchens. I'm hungry, and I'm sure you need something substantial in your stomach."

I follow her out the door, my heart warmed and my stomach hungry.
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VIII.

I am back. It has been, oh, I don't know how long since I have seen Eowyn! I am back where it all started. My tower, only with one orc now. Gristle is gone. I am back in my lonely tower, full of memories. And love. But let me back up and tell you how I came to be here again. . . .

We set out on a long journey to a place called Helm's Deep. I am on the back of Eowyn's horse. Thankfully, I am not on the dwarf's horse, because he just fell off. There are probably a million other people from Edoras who came with us. I overheard Theoden talking with Aragorn( the man that I traveled with) and he said that we will be arriving in about an hour. The elf is at the head of our large group, scanning the horizon for enemies. Gandalf is not with us. Aragorn said that he had important business to attend to and he will be returning in five days time.

"WARGS!" shouted the elf from the head of the group.

The people around me scream and run away, the captains desperately trying to direct them where to go. Aragorn, the elf, the dwarf and Theoden plunge into the fight of the oncoming wargs. I follow and draw my sword, trying to be brave.

It is madness all around me as I fight the wargs and orcs around me. They seem to all be gravitating toward me! I slash madly at an orc's head but he ducks and grabs me by the shirt, throws me onto his warg's back and starts riding
away from the fight, towards the woods. In about a moment or two, I am captured by an orc!

IX.

The orc and I arrived where it all began. All the misery, all the hatred and all the gloom surrounds me as I step over the threshold of the entrance to my tower. I want to forget all the things I have experienced, all the things I learned and become who I once was, someone with no past and no future. But something inside me says I can't let go of who I became over these long months. Something says that I have a task, and I must see it through. . .

The orc locks the door behind us and then shoves me into a corner. I am sitting there shivering, on my last piece of paper. Yes, reader, this is my last letter to you. This is where it will end, whatever the outcome is.

I am sorry, reader. I'm afraid I fell asleep while writing. I am so tired. . .

I heard voices in my head last night. When I fell asleep, I mean; I no longer know if it is day or night, everything is the same. Those voices, they sounded like the Lady of the Golden Wood. Lothlorien. They spoke to me, comforting me.


"Peregrin. . . "

"Peregrin. . . "

"Peregrin!"

"Come to us, child. . . . "

"You are no longer who you once were. . . ."

"Listen!"

"Listen, and you will hear us. . . . ."

"Hear us. . . "

The voices surround me like a blanket. I do not try to drive them off.

"Take this knowledge. . . . . "

"Use it well. . . ."

At this, I begin to hear phrases in a foreign language, one that I have heard before. Then they say,

"Use it well. . . "

"Your task approaches. . . . . "

"Do not forget us. . . . "

"Remember!"

"You are no longer who you once were. . . . . . ."

The voices drift away and I fall into a wonderful, dreamless sleep.

"In western lands beneath the Sun
the flowers may rise in the spring,
the trees may bud, the waters run,
the merry finches sing.
Or there maybe 'tis cloudless night
and swaying beeches bear
the Elven-stars as jewels white
amid their branching hair.

Though here at journey's end I lie. . . . ."

I wake up at the sound of the unknown voice weaving it's singing voice through the musty air of the tower. For a second I hear another voice, joining in with the first, but perhaps it was only an echo.

I am carefully watching the door to my tower, as there seems to be someone banging on it. The orc is no where to be seen. I back away as the door crashes down, smashing my piece of charcoal that I wrote with. A small figure, just the same height as me, stands on top of the door. I say the first sentence that pops into my mind.

"You owe me a new piece of charcoal."

He digs something from his pack and throws it at me. I catch it swiftly, and from the feel I know it to be a piece of charcoal. He turns to leave, but I beg him not to go.

"I have a task, and I must see it through." says he.

"Wait!" I say. "What's your name?"

"Sam. And yours?

"Peregrin. Peregrin Took. Erm, thanks for the charcoal."

"Your welcome. Goodbye, Pip, er, Peregrin."

"Goodbye, Sam. Hope to see you again soon."

He shrugs and goes out the door. I sit down on the cold floor, my new piece of charcoal in hand, full of hope for the future. I had met another hobbit!

I have just returned from a meeting with the Witch-King. He says that I have a task to do tomorrow. I must go with The Mouth, the messenger of Sauron, to meet my friends before the Black Gate, he says, where they will most certainly die. But I have faith in my friends, and I believe they will end this battle, of which I only know that this will be the fight for Middle-Earth itself. While I was getting shoved into my armor, phrases and faces just appeared in my mind.

There was Aragorn, getting ready for battle. . .

There was Gandalf, muttering to himself of what he should have done the day in that little room. . .

There were two hobbits, one was Sam, struggling up Mt. Doom, and a little creature behind them. . .

There was Eowyn and another hobbit on two beds, their arms wounded. . .

When I saw each of their faces, I knew what to call them, and I knew what my own real true name was.

Aelfwine Elvea. . .

Enwina Atan. . .

Bronwe athan Harthad*, Harthad Uluithiad** and Trahald. . .

Erda Eket. . .

And me, Aiwee Estel.***

The Mouth is calling me. I must go now. Goodbye, reader. I hope that we meet someday.

On my way to the Black Gate, I hear a phrase, one that I have heard before:

"Tulya, talant-hen, tulya. Taeg perian o athan thinna nedna taeg aare."


* Endurance Beyond Hope
** Hope Unquenchable
*** Small Hope

A/N- I named the story The Fourth Halfling because Peregrin is Pippin who was the one of the four hobbits who set out on the quest. Just saying if I didn't make that clear.