Asgarnen: Fanfiction by Nieriel Raina

Preparations


Preparations


by Nieriel Raina


The Last Homely House was in a stir. Everywhere elves and men moved about hurriedly, packing provisions, sharpening weapons, fixing horse tack…all the preparations that go into readying a group to move on the offensive. The rangers, grateful to have taken some respite over the winter months in the elven haven, were anxious to be about their next planned attack, despite the continuing bout of cold weather outside the valley.


Orcs had been spotted in the North moving toward the High Pass of the Misty Mountains. The fell creatures could not be allowed to find refuge there amongst the rocks and crags, picking off travelers that came that way. Together with a detachment of elves under the twin sons of Elrond, they would ride out and intercept the creatures, hopefully decimating this group entirely, for it had wreaked much havoc over the past few months, moving from village to village plundering all they found.


As the preparations continued, the eyes of the men, from time to time, would move toward a window above the courtyard where all the activity was taking place. Shut tight, there was no noise coming from within, yet all sensed the storm brewing behind those pulled drapes. Several had even mentioned taking bets as to who would prevail in the battle raging just out of their range of hearing. Hushed comments were shared, but none spoke too loudly for fear of gaining a disapproving glance from Halbarad, who worked patiently on a horse's bridle, his eyes never straying to the window in question.


"He'll come…he'll not let us ride without him. It is not his way," one young man whispered to his partner as they fastened full packs closed tightly against possible foul weather.


The other man eyed him doubtfully, shaking his head. "You've not ridden with the sons of Elrond before, have you?" When the younger man shook his head, the older man continued, "I assure you, Halbarad will lead this mission. It is for the best. Do not stir up more discord."


The young man frowned and opened his mouth to speak again, but was silenced by a glare from Halbarad himself. That man did not have to say a word, simply give the others a look, and all scurried back to their work, talk shifting to other topics.


Inside the Last Homely House, behind that closed window, emotions were raging between two dark haired individuals, yet their voices did not carry as one might expect of two arguing as these two were debating.


"Ah'b nod thik!" the ranger voiced hoarsely as he stood, attempting to wipe his dripping nose unnoticed with the back of his sleeve. "Ah hab to go, id ith mah duty ath a ranger…Ah'b their Cheiftan! …. AH-CHOO!" Unable to hold it back any longer, Aragorn proceeded to sneeze all over his brother, earning him a look of utter disgust.


Wiping the offending wetness from his face, the younger son of Elrond also stood, bringing him face to face with the bleary-eyed man. "You are ill, Estel. There is no use arguing about it any longer. Halbarad will lead the rangers on this trek. Elladan and I will go with him, but you…you are going back to bed this instant! If Ada found out I let you go… we will not even discuss it. You will be here when he returns with Glorfindel from the Ford. Besides, I doubt very seriously you could even lift your sword now, let alone use it in battle. You are feverish, you can hardly stand up on your own feet!"


Aragorn's head reluctantly fell, his chin resting on his chest as he sunk into the chair behind him. "Ah'b nod thik," he repeated, his body betraying him as he broke into a fit of deep coughs.


Elrohir lifted a brow at him, eyeing him skeptically as the man struggled to catch his breath. "You will catch your death if you go on this trip, either from sickness or by my own hand if I catch you joining us secretly! You are sick!"


Looking up at his brother, Aragorn frowned and relented. "Alright! Alright… Ah will stay here." He lifted a hand to his feverish forehead and moaned. "Ugh. Elorir…Ah think Ah need to go to bed."


The son of Elrond shook his head and hid a small smile. "Yes, Estel, I think bed is a good idea. Perhaps some of Ada's tea will perk you up when he returns."


The man wrinkled his nose and frowned all the more, causing his brother to laugh. "Ah think Ah would prefer to be thick," Aragorn remarked sniffing, before allowing Elrohir to help him climb into his warm bed. Closing his eyes, he snuggled into the soft blankets and sighed.


"Elorir?"


"Yes, Estel?"


"Ah ab thik…Halbarad will hab to lead thith mithion. Pleathe tell him for me?"


"Of course, Estel. Pleasant dreams."


The only answer Elrohir got however, was the sound of soft snores rattling from the sick ranger as he slept open-mouthed. The son of Elrond tucked the blankets more firmly around his little brother, looking down at him with a smile. Yes, Estel was thik…thick headed! With a chuckle, the son of Elrond went to find his twin to inform him the matter was now resolved.


They rode out an hour later, and many relieved looks passed among the men, for behind that window it remained dark and still. Their Chieftain was sick. They would fight this one for him and come home victorious.

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