Fallen Leafs, Part XII
by Areli


The two companions backed away from the old man in fear and wonder.  

"What a mess you have gotten yourself into Legolas." the man said.  

"G-Gandalf...?" Aragorn stammered.  

The old man froze for a moment and stood up. He removed his cloak to reveal Gandalf dressed in white robes. They stared at him as if he was a ghost.  

"Do not gawk at me so." Gandalf admonished.  

Legolas got to his feet and lowered his head towards Gandalf. 

"Thank you for healing me." he said. Gandalf smiled. 

"Indeed you are most welcome."  

"There are many riddles afoot!" Gimli exclaimed. "What happened to Legolas and why are you alive?"  

The four companions stood facing each other. Legolas and Gandalf on one side, Aragorn and Gimli on the other. 

"If only I had the time to tell." Gandalf said. "But I am afraid that I have great need to ride to Rohan's kingdom and speak to their king."  

"Do you not have even the time to tell us how?" Aragorn asked. "We have the utmost curiosity."  

Gandalf sighed.  

"Very well. But it must be brief." he said.  

"I had fallen with the creature for what seemed an eternity. We fell into a pool of water. I managed to beat the hideous monster off of me yet grabbed a hold of him as he retreated. He led me to a long staircase which I climbed. I went up to the top of the mountain, compeletely exhausted, and simply laid there." 

"My winged friend suddenly came by and took me to Lothlorien where I recovered for many days and heard that you had been there previously. There, they clothed me in white. Since that time I have been searching for you. I heard that Legolas had been taken to Isengard and went in search of him there. I haven't managed to keep up with you three until now."  

Gandalf pulled some objects from underneath his cloak. 

"My bow! My quiver! My swords!" Legolas cried, grabbing his weapons.  

"Yes indeed. I knew they were of some value to you." 

"Indeed they are." Legolas said.  

"Now we must make haste!" Gandalf said. He whistled in such a high-piched tone that the companions could hardly believe that it had come from him.  

Soon three horses had come to them.  

"We must ride to Rohan's kingdom this instance." Gandalf said. 

Legolas stayed on the ground next to his horse. Aragorn and Gimli made no move as well.  

"What is the matter with the three of you? We must be off now!" Gandalf roared.  

"No..." Legolas said. He fished his hand into his pocket and withdrew the ring. Gandalf's eyes widened as he dismounted his horse. 

"You have the Ring of Power? Yet how?"  

"That is another long story my friend." Aragorn said.  

"This changes everything..." Gandalf said unhappily.  

"Frodo is dead." Legolas said. "The four hobbits are dead."  

The three stared at him in shock. "Saruman told me..." he said lowering his head.  

"Then all is lost..." Gandalf moaned softly.  

"All is not lost! We can still destroy it!" Gimli cried. "We can take it ourselves to Mordor."  

"What chance have we?" Legolas questioned.  

"Dwarves are much sturdier than elves and hobbits. I could survive." 

"We have no choice. We must destroy it at all costs." Gandalf said. There was a long pause. "First we travel to Fangorn. I must speak with Treebeard." 

"With Treebeard? Who is Treebeard?" Aragorn asked. 

"That is not a relevent question at present." Gandalf said, mounting his horse again.  

Legolas mounted his horse as well but was suddenly thrown off. The other three stared at him.  

He stood up and dusted himself off.  

"How strange." He murmered. He mounted again and whispered something into the horse's ear. The horse remained calm.  

"Let us be off!" Gandalf announced and took the lead. 

"An elf is never thrown off a horse is he Aragorn?" Gimli whispered from behind Aragorn.  

"No master dwarf. They never are." Aragorn began to wonder about the horse.

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