Chapter 21 - Lost in Middle-Earth

The cast stood weeping. "Come now." Viggo said, breaking the silence. "We must get on with our journey. Cate and Marton await us in Lothlorien."
"Uh, how do we get there?" Dominic asked. All of his chums turned around and looked at him. "What, do you know?" He asked fiercely.
"I don't care." Said Elijah. "Let's just go with the way that seems right."
"Alas! How unpresumably dumb we are!" Orlando cried. He pointed to the ground. Faintly drawn out was a path among the weeds, proving that Moria once had been inhabited.
All was silent, then John exclaimed, "Durin's Stone! Elijah, Sean, and I must look into Mirrormere or else the story won't be complete!"
Viggo looked at the sun. "Well, our bright friend is almost about to set." He said. "The orcs will probably come out after dusk so hurry quickly."
As the three walked off, Billy muttered inaudibly, "Purists."
"Ah. There it is, Mirrormere." John said as they walked by a large rock carved with runes which was obviously Durin's Stone. "Go on, look in."
The others bent down and looked. At first, all they could see was their reflections. Then a fuzzy haze formed. It showed Sir Ian. He was no longer cloaked in gray, but in radiant white.
"He'll come back." Sean whispered. They walked back full of hope.
After they had told the rest of the party how they shouldn't weep for Ian, they set off once more at a pretty quick tempo. Sean and Elijah began to lag behind. Orli chanced to look back and said to Viggo, "Our friends! How could we forget their wounds?"
Viggo grabbed the other Sean and went back to the forlorn hobbits. "How could we not?" He said. "With all the trauma that has happened today, I wouldn't be surprised that we did." He found a shallow but infected looking abrasion on the nape of Sean's neck. Elijah insisted that he had not been injured and was only malnourished. Viggo quickly washed Sean's cut with some dry but still charmed athelas and let Elijah have some food. In fact, they all ate a bit.
"How's the neck feel?" John asked worriedly. Sean twisted it around and winced.
"It nips a bit, but it could be worse."
They marched once again. "I have a bad feeling." Elijah said. "Something seems to be following us."
"Oh, it's just Gollum, probably." John said as he walked alongside the Ringbearer. Elijah was surprised at the melancholy sound to the dwarf's voice. It seemed that if he wanted to, Smeagol would probably get vicious. He stumbled quickly on in fear of the sharp teeth he imagined. 
In the dark, there could presently be heard the soft sound of wind through leaves. Orlando twirled around as if he was one of the leaves blown about by an autumn wind. "Lothlorien!" He exclaimed. "This place is beautiful." He sighed.
"I doubt we will meet any of your kind tonight." Sean grumbled. "We'll be left to fend for ourselves tonight. Without Sir Ian."
"Come now. We'll see him again." Elijah said, trying to lift the man's spirits.
"*I* won't." Ever think of that?" He snapped. Elijah fell silent.
"I-I guess not." The young hobbit said. "Sorry."
"There's the Nimrodel." Orlando said, changing the mood. He seemed like a child at a fair, the elf took in all the sights. "Come, its water is supposed to heal the weary, right?"
One after another they followed the persistent elf into the waters. Elijah's heart was taken off of the Sean incident and he relaxed, thinking of home. Even Sean was lifted to a happier feeling, and he too relaxed from his worries of death.
Instead of resting on the bank, they kept walking. Orlando sang a song that the others didn't think he knew, a tale of Nimrodel the fair elvenmaid. "The poor girl." He muttered after his song faded. "After the dwarves disrupted Moria and evil came upon--"
"We did NOT bring evil!" John cried.
"Sh...." Orlando said in a soothing tone. "I didn't say they did. But quiet down, maybe we can move around Haldir."
"I think we should get into the trees, in that case." John said.
"Good idea." Viggo said.
Orlando proceeded up the nearest mallorn. A voice cried out. "Daro!" He leapt in surprise and ended up on the ground next to Elijah's feet.
"We know who it is, but don't move, he doesn't know who WE are." The elf above began to speak in a Silvan tongue. Orlando immediately spoke back fluently.
"What do they say?" Billy whispered.
"They say you breath so loud, they could have shot you in the dark." Orlando smirked. The company held their breath. "But also, it's Haldir and he says not to worry."
A strong rope ladder made of silver satin was let down and Orli climbed nimbly up. After him came Elijah and Sean.
"Hello. My name is Haldir." Said the elf. "I mean you know harm. Who is of your group and how many?"
Orlando answered. " Eight in all. Four hobbits, myself, two men, one of which is Aragorn son of Arathorn."
"Ah. We know him. The Lady knows him and gives him favor."
Elijah smirked. "More than you know." He muttered.
"What was that?" Haldir snapped.
"I said, uh, Do you say so? Strider never told us of *any* lady." He said looking as innocent as possible.
Sean nodded in agreement. "Yeah."
"Oh." Then the guard turned back to Orlando. "Legolas, you have mentioned seven. You said there are eight. Inform me of the last."
"Well, um, well you see, the last one's a..." The "elf prince" suddenly lost his composure.
"Dwarf." Elijah finished for him.
"A DWARF??" Haldir yelled. "How can we let one of that kind into the Wood?"
"Could we blindfold him? I'll speak for him." Orlando said, the solid elf once again. Haldir whispered it over to the others.
"That is fine. Let's go." Once again, they hopped down the ladder to the others.
"They're going to blindfold me, aren't they?" John grimaced.
"Afraid so, mate." Orlando said.
"Not yet, dwarf." Haldir said. "You all shall sleep first." The hobbits and Orlando were taken up to one of the treetop platforms and slept there. Their friends slept on the ground. Elijah awoke as an elf rushed in.
"Yrch!" He whispered.
"What in the name of all that's good does that mean?" Elijah asked puzzled.
"Orcs!" The elf ran out. Suddenly, from the darkness came rasping breath. Two eyes were lit up. They sat staring at him. Then with another rasp the thing went back down.
"Gollum." Elijah whispered. "Great."
Haldir stepped in. "Something was seen in the tree. I didn't shoot because I would cause clamor and the orcs would attack. We can't afford a great battle in Lothlorien. They crossed the Nimrodel. Curse the foulblooded creatures!" He wept.
The Fellowship crossed the Silverlode next morning. "Now, you must be blindfolded. We shall not let you see the wonders of Lorien, for you may be spy."
John became enraged. "A SPY!? I never!"
"Let them come in, they are all fine with me." A voice sounded a ways from them.
"What?" Haldir said as he looked up in awe. He immediately realized his mistake and fell to the ground. "Milord! Milady! Why are you out of the heart of your Kingdom?"
Cate smiled as she stepped along, holding the hem of her long dress. "We heard of visitors. I have seen in my mirror that they are not foe, but friend. Let them go with naked eye, Haldir."
"Yes, yes, your Majesty." Haldir stammered like a dog with its tail between its legs.
"Your work is done for now, Haldir." Marton smiled. "Good job. Come guests. Enter Lothlorien."