Forgotten Allies: part ix
by: McJen


"How did I get here? Somebody pushed me. Somebody must have set me off in this direction and clusters of other hands must have touched themselves to the controls at various times, for I would not have picked this way for the world." - Joseph Heller


The gentle swaying of the train as it rumbled up the tracks lulled Kate into an almost relaxed state. Almost, but not quite. She was worried.

Gandalf and Elrond had left London immediately following Kate's discovery of the forged documents. Through contacts that Gandalf had in the Resistance movements, he and Elrond had secured passage into France. From there they would try and discover the fate of Elrohir, Elladan, and Colin.

Kate and Legolas had spent a long week waiting for their journey to begin. Most of the days were spent raiding her father's closets and altering pants. Over the course of the week, she'd grown to despise Legolas's height. Sewing did nothing to take her mind off her troubles. At first Kate thought that nothing could be worse than going into German occupied France. However, she quickly realized that it was the *waiting* to leave that was the actual torture. Taking action calmed her nerves more than any amount of soothing words Legolas said to her.

To counteract her mood, Legolas had begun answering her questions about the past. The ritual began easily enough. Kate had been hemming up a pair of pants when she fumbled with the needle and pricked her finger. Instead of letting out a flurry of curses, she'd looked at Legolas and asked, "What did the city of Gondor look like?" And so the questions came every time Kate's mind became cluttered with worry.

Once their journey had gotten underway, they had little privacy and no opportunity for questions. First they had taken a transport ship to Spain. Then they had spent the past few days taking the train across Spain into France. Today they would leave Vichy France and cross the border into German territory. Before nightfall, they would be in Paris.

As the train stopped at a small French village, the other passengers sharing their compartment gathered their belongings and left the train. For the first time since their trip had begun, Kate and Legolas were alone. Knowing she wouldn't be getting any rest until they were in Paris, Kate sat up in her seat and looked out the window. She could feel the knots forming in her stomach the closer they got to the border.

"What did Aragorn look like?" she asked.

Legolas glanced at her. He stretched his legs out in front of him. "He was tall."

"Taller or shorter than you?"

"Shorter. But you still would have had to take out the hems on your father's pants for them to fit him," Legolas said with a grin.

Kate groaned.

"His hair was like yours. Dark brown. And he kept it in the style of men at the time," Legolas said. "Rather ragged and somewhat longer compared to the neat short appearance met wear now. His shoulders were broad. And he carried himself like a king, long before he wore a crown. I sensed the air of royalty about him the moment I met him."

"When did you meet?" she asked, as she closed her eyes and tried to imagine this man. This distant ancestor.

"It was in my youth. I had barely passed coming of age before the last years of the third age. It was some 10 years before the War of the Ring. I was patrolling the borders of my father's realm when I came upon him in the forest. I was eager to defend my homeland, and he was just as eager to defend his life."

Legolas smiled as he recalled the incident. "Mirkwood was a dangerous place then and we were not hospitable to strangers. But it was his speaking Elvish that caught me off guard. There were few mortals who could speak Sindarin, the tongue of my people, and he spoke it with the distinct accent common in Rivendell. It was only after I lowered my bow that I could sense the commanding presence of his spirit. His spirit carried a strength of will that isn't felt often among mortals." Legolas turned to Kate. "I felt the same strength of spirit within you the moment we met."

"Strength?" she asked, incredulously. "I'm not strong. I'm terrified. We haven't even gotten to German territory and all I want to do is turn and run back home."

"I fought beside Aragorn in many a battle. No matter how dire the situation, his courage never faltered. You carry the same blood within you. Despite your fear, you will not run," Legolas said.

"I'm not a warrior," she reminded him.

"Every night in London, you faced the planes that dropped the bombs upon your city. You were not armed. You had no hope of defeating them or even protecting yourself against them and yet you stood squarely to meet them. You are a warrior," Legolas said.

"I do not feel like one," Kate said, as she squirmed in her seat, tired of the stiff traveling skirt she'd been wearing for days. "Nor do I look like one."

"The way your enemy will underestimate you will be your greatest weapon."

"Ah, so I'm suppose to beguile them with my feminine wiles?" she teased.

"Putting forth the effort isn't necessary. You will beguile both enemy and ally alike with just your presence," Legolas said, matter of factly.

Before she could respond, the train came to a stop and she looked out the window. They had reached the border.

Footsteps echoed down the corridor of the train and the door to their compartment opened. A German officer stepped inside and held his hand out impatiently. Legolas reached into his coat pocket and handed over his passport. As the soldier took it, Kate's heart began pounding in her chest and a thousand worries rushed through her mind at what would happen if the forgery was discovered. Legolas regarded the soldier with an air of indifference as his passport was examined. After a moment, he handed it back to Legolas. Kate let out the breath that she hadn't realized she'd been holding, and handed her own papers over to the German. He read them over closely. "You are both from England?" he asked.

Kate nodded. "We're traveling to Paris on business. Our letters of intent have been approved by the German authorities. It's all been taken care of."

"I shall be the judge of that," the German said, reading over the documents.

After what seemed like an eternity he handed the papers back to Kate and left the compartment. Kate slumped back into her seat, exhausted by the encounter.

"The first confrontation with the enemy is always the hardest."

"That's easy for you to say," Kate said.

A half-grin of amusement spread across Legolas's face. "You handled it better that my first confrontation with an orc,"

Her eyes caught his and she waited for him to continue. "My hands were shaking so badly I could scarcely notch the arrow to the bow," Legolas said, but he did not mention that he was still a child when the attack upon his homeland forced him into action.

Kate held her hands out. No matter how hard she tried, she could not keep them from trembling. It was sometime later, after the train had started up again and the border was left behind that her nerves calmed enough to let her enjoy the passing scenery. The pastoral countryside became more populated the closer they came to the city.

It was just after lunchtime when the train pulled into Paris. Kate grabbed the case of paintings and Legolas took their suitcases and they made their way down the platform through the crowds of people. Besides passengers, the station was crawling with German soldiers. Several people had been stopped and were handing over their passports for inspection. Kate looked at the exit, it seemed an eternity away and between them and the exit stood what seemed like an entire company of German soldiers. As they took the first steps towards the exit, Legolas began talking, "Did I tell you why Gimli harbored such ill feelings towards me when we first met?"

Kate looked up at him in astonishment. This hardly seemed the time for stories. Legolas smiled at her, insistently, until it dawned on her what it was doing. Legolas's smile was for the benefit of the German's. If they were smiling and laughing, they couldn't possibly seem suspicious. She smiled at him.

"No you didn't," Kate said, as she took his arm and began the long walk through the station.

"I was in charge of patrolling the forest and we found a company of dwarves wandering aimlessly through our woods, without our permission," Legolas said. "Gimli's father Gloin was among them."

"What did you do?" Kate asked, holding onto his arm a little tighter than necessary as they walked past a German soldier.

"I had a bit of fun with them, which probably wasn't the best thing to do, given later circumstances. We lured them deeper and deeper into the forest by our fires and food," Legolas said, and laughed.

Kate moved over slightly to allow a woman and her baby room to walk passed them. The ticket counters were to the left, and a long line of people waiting to purchase tickets snaked through the station. Several German soldier's walked by.

"Then we took them to see my father. For the darkness was spreading beyond Mirkwood, and my father wished to know why dwarves would dare to pass through his realm. Dwarves had not done so in centuries," Legolas explained.

A German soldier accidentally bumped against Legolas. "Excuse me," the soldier said. Legolas nodded and kept walking. The exit was only yards away.

"But the dwarves refused to tell us of their quest," Legolas said. "And on the night of a great feast, they escaped."

"I had heard parts of the story from Gandalf and in the Red Book, though that version is slightly different than yours," Kate said, as they stepped out of the train station and into the sunshine.

"Yes, but did you know the feast was held in honor of Gandalf, who had come to see to their release?" Legolas asked. "They were to be released immediately. Gandalf thought it best, not to let them know their bumpy ride down the river in the barrels was wasted."

Kate looked at him and laughed.

Once out of the train station, they quickly disappeared into the city streets. The city of Paris was as bustling and busy as ever. If it weren't for the German soldier's patrolling the streets and the swastikas hanging from the signs of German controlled buildings, Kate would never have guessed they were at war. Much to Kate's relief, the walk to the hotel was a pleasant one.

Before they had left London, Mrs. Schneider had taken care of all of their arrangements. Kate and Legolas would be staying at the L'Hotel du Seine. Upon arrival, they would be given further instructions on whom to contact.

The hotel was not a large one, but it was cozy. Kate immediately felt at home as she walked into the small lobby.

"Bonjour," the woman said from behind the front desk.

"Bonjour, Je'mapelle Kate Elessar. J'ai reservations," Kate said, in what she knew was horrible French.

The front desk clerk smirked. After checking them in she reached behind the desk and pulled out a small envelope and handed it to Kate. "C'est pour vous, mademoiselle."

"Merci," Kate said.

It was a letter from Mrs. Schnieder. The letter said:


Klaus Ramelow is expecting you tomorrow at 2 p.m. A car will pick you and your companion up tomorrow at 1:30.

- Schnieder


Kate folded the letter and put it into her pocket.

"What do we do now?" Legolas asked.

"We wait," Kate said.

With nothing to occupy them for the moment, Legolas and Kate retired to their own bedrooms to refresh themselves after their long journey. Kate let out a deep sigh of relief as she locked the door to the bedroom, as if all the horrors of the world could be held back by that one act. She flopped down on the bed and felt safe for the first time since leaving London. Instead of drifting off to sleep, her mind began to wander and she thought of Gandalf and Elrond and wondered where they were amid the city of lights.



#1. Pardon my french. 4 years of french and what do I have to show for it.It's horrible.misspelled and altogether inaccurrate, feel free to educate me.

#2. I don't know how someone would get to France from England during WW2. I searched high and low for some sort of info on the topic.couldn't find any.

#3. Next chapter will be only about Elrond and Gandalf. Sorry. I hate it myself when people flip back and forth right when things are getting interesting.I'll just try to write really fast so you won't have to wait for long.

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