Status: Done!

I Will Always Be Here for You

29. Sauron's Plans

You were seated in the hall, while Gandalf explained to Théoden what happened.
“There was no lie in Pippin’s eyes. A fool, but an honest fool he remains. He told Sauron nothing of Frodo and the Ring.” Gandalf explained, “We’ve been strangely fortunate. Pippin saw in the palantir a glimpse of the enemy’s plan. Sauron moves to strike the city of Minas Tirith. His defeat at Helm’s Deep showed our enemy one thing He knows the heir of Elendil has come forth. Men are not as weak as he supposed. There is courage still, strength enough perhaps to challenge him. Sauron fears this. He will not risk the peoples of Middle-earth uniting under on banner. He will raise Minas Tirith to the ground before he sees a king return to the throne of Men. If the beacons of Gondor are lit, Rohan must be ready for war.”
Théoden responded, “Tell me, why should we ride to the aid of those who did not come to ours? What do we owe Gondor?”
“I will go.” Aragorn volunteered.
“No!” Gandalf argued.
“They must be warned.”
“They will be. You must come to Minas Tirith by another road. Follow the river to the black ships.” Gandalf whispered to Aragorn, then continued for all to hear, “Understand this: Things are now in motion which cannot be undone. I ride to Minas Tirith, and I won’t be going alone. Pippin, and Herenya will accompany me.”
“Pardon?” you asked, startled.
“He wants you, this much we know now. You must come with me, you must channel your powers. Use the ring Galadriel gave to you. It will help you.”
“But . . .”
“I know you don’t want any of it, but it must be. You are destined to do this.”
“All right, I will go.”
As Gandalf led the company to the stables, you held onto Legolas, and Gandalf was yelling, “Of all the inquisitive Hobbits, Peregrin Took, you are the worst. Hurry! Hurry!”
You felt so sorry for Pippin to be caught up in all this.
“Where are we going?” Pippin whispered to merry.
“Why did you look?” Merry asked sternly, “Why do you always have to look?”
“I don’t know. I can’t help it.”
“You never can.”
“I’m sorry, all right?” I won’t do it again.”
“Don’t you understand? The enemy thinks you have the Ring. He’s going to be looking for you, Pip. They have to get you out of here.”
“And you--? You’re coming with me?”
Merry walked away.
“Come one.”
*Poor Pippin.*
You went into the stables, following Gandalf.
“Take Arod, to remember me.” Legolas said.
“I could never forget you. I will see you again.”
You untied one of your necklaces, and kissing it, laid it in Legolas’ palm.
“You take this, and remember that our love will keep us safe.”
Legolas looked at you so sadly that you threw your arms around him, crying into his shoulder.
You climbed onto Arod after, and waited as Gandalf placed Pippin atop Shadowfax.
“How far is Minas Tirith?” Pippin asked.
“Three days’ ride, as the Nazgul flies.” Gandalf answered, “And you better hope we don’t have one of those on our tail.”
All of a sudden you felt a sharp pain your stomanch.
“Legolas!” you cried happily, “It’s kicking!”
Legolas rushed over and placed a hand on your stomach, feeling the restlessness of the baby.
“All right, enough of that.” Gandalf urged.
Legolas kissed you deeply and then kissed your stomach, squeezing your hand and stepped away.
“Here.” Merry handed a package to Pippin, “Something for the road.”
“The last of the Longbottom Leaf.”
“I know you’ve run out. You smoke too much, Pippin.”
“But—But we’ll see each other soon. Won’t we?”
“I don’t know. I don’t know what’s going to happen.”
“Run Shadowfax.” Gandalf said, “Show us the meaning of haste.”
Gandalf sprang out of the stables and you quickly followed with one last glance at Legolas.
For days you rode, keeping up with Shadowfax, pushing Arod to everything he had. You passed over plains with mountains in the back, through forests, through pools of water. During day and night, every once and a while whispering to Arod, keeping him going. You slipped into your sleep-like daze, reenergizing yourself. You would magically reenergize Arod also so he would not collapse.
Finally, you came over a hill to see great towers of shining white. The city of Kings. It shone in the sun and you saw how majestic and powerful it was. It would suit Aragorn perfectly.
You raced through the city, over every stage. The people would quickly move aside to allow you passage. They would stare, thinking it strange to see a man clad in such bright white, with what seemed like a child, riding in front of him, and a beautiful elf maiden trailing behind.
You reached the top and dismounted, walking around the tree of the King.
“It’s the tree.” Pippin realized, “Gandalf. Gandalf.”
“Yes, the White Tree of Gondor. The tree of the King. Lord Denethor, however, is not King. He is a steward only, a caretaker of the throne.”
Gandalf filled you in, “Now listen carefully. Lord Denethor is Boromir’s father. To give him word of his beloved son’s death would be most unwise. And do not mention Frodo or the Ring. And say nothing of Aragorn either. In fact, it’s better if you don’t speak at all, Peregrin Took.”
You walked into the hall and saw a man sitting at the throne.
*That’s Aragorn’s throne!*
He was dark and pale. He looked nothing at all like his son Boromir.
“Hail Denethor, son of Ecthelion, lord and steward of Gondor. I come with tiding in this dark hour and with counsel.”
Denethor was stooped in his seat, bent over a horn.
*That’s Boromir’s horn! Oh no!*
“Perhaps you come to explain this.” He showed the horn, cloven in two, “Perhaps you come to tell me why my son is dead.”
The hall went silent, until you heard Pippin’s voice.
“Boromir died to save us, my kinsman and me. He fell defending us from many foes.”
Pippin came out to kneel before Denethor.
“Pippin.” Gandalf scorned.
“I offer you my services, such as it is, in payment of this debt.”
Gandalf sighed, hit Pippin with his staff, then scorned, “Get up.”
“My lord, there will be a time to grieve for Boromir, but it is not now. War is coming. The enemy is on your doorstep. As steward, you are charged with the defense of this city. Where are Gondor’s armies? You still have friends. You are not alone in this fight. Send word to Théoden of Rohan. Light the beacons.”
“You think you are wise, Mithrandir. Yet for all your subtleties you have not wisdom.”
You tried to step forward but Gandalf stopped you.
“Do you think the eyes of the White Tower are blind? I have seen more than you know. With your left hand you would use me as a shield against Mordor. And with your right you seek to supplant me. I know who rides with Théoden of Rohan. Oh, yes. Word has reached my ears of this Aragorn, son of Arathorn. And I tell you now, I will not bow down to this Ranger from the North, last of the ragged house long bereft of lordship.”
“It is his rule which goes and you have no choice but to step down when he comes.” You chimed in.
“Authority is not given to you to deny the return of the King, steward.” Gandalf finished.
“The rule of Gondor is mine and no other’s.” Denethor stood, then stared at you, “And don’t think I don’t know about you. Get your witchcraft out of her. I know you are here to help get me off the throne, you filthy little wench.”
You tried to jump at Denethor but Gandalf held you back then swiftly turned around and headed out of the hall. You cast back on more evil look at Denethor, then made all the lights in the hall go out.
“That arrogant man!” you yelled, “How dare he call me a wench!”