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Reflections On The Water - Written By: Eeva

SUMMARY: The Fellowship travels down river Anduin. Pippin tries to deal with the loss of Gandalf…

CHARACTERS: Frodo Galadriel Pippin Legolas Boromir Aragorn Sam

Among all the constantly growing evil and fear and wrath in the world, a small gentle Hobbit blinks his bright eyes and looks around him in amazement and awe. Everything around him seems to be at such peace...indeed, the land of Lothlórien has been among the fairest places Frodo has ever been to. And now the time for departure from that beautiful blessed land has come...In his heart Frodo feels that it will be a departure from peace and beauty back into the very heart of peril and fear. The reluctance and sorrow he feels to leave that fair place can be seen on him from afar. But he knows he has to go matter what...despite all the hurt and sorrow he had already gone through, he would still go on...

In his heart Frodo also knows that he will never forget the gift that the Lady of Light granted him. "May it be a light to you in dark places when all other lights go out"...the kind words of the Lady Galadriel are like music to Frodo’s ears. As he holds in his hands the dazzling light of Eärendil, contained within the shining crystal phial, Frodo is suddenly filled with a new hope amid his fear and desperation. This is truly a blessed gift...A kindness such as this leaves him almost speechless...his gratitude is beyond words..."Thank you, my lady..." he can only whisper almost inaudibly as he bows low and holds the phial close to his heart. The boats are leaving. The time has now come.

It was now almost nightfall. The company had been journeying down the river Anduin for several days now and stopped at length on the shore for a brief rest. Being now pursued by the Orcs and Uruk-hai of Isengard, the pace had to be constantly quickened and no one had been able to have nearly any sleep at all. Although Frodo was tired, he could not sleep somehow. Sitting on the rocky shores of the river, he stared at his own reflection in the water as his thoughts strayed back in time to happier days, to the the times when all was still well...How had things come to this? Why? Why had there to be so much anger and hate in the world? This was not how things were supposed to be…not at all. Suddenly everything seemed all wrong to Frodo and his fear grew and almost engulfed him. Tears started forming in his eyes no matter how hard he tried to stop them. He looked at Sam who was peacefully sleeping, his head resting against his backpack on the ground. Frodo smiled through his tears...Sam reminded him so much of the good old times back in Hobbiton. He was so full of life, so kind and caring...and for that Frodo loved him dearly.

All at once Frodo heard soft sobbing from behind a few trees on the shore. Quickly he wiped his tears away and got up and made his way quietly towards the trees. Slowly he peered through the branches and saw a small figure sitting on the shore with bowed head and his face cupped in his hands. "Pippin?" Frodo whispered and the figure immediately stopped sobbing. Everything became suddenly so quiet that Frodo felt almost uncomfortable. "Pippin, are you alright?" he whispered again, and now Pippin turned slowly to look at Frodo and it was plain that he had been crying. "No I’m not alright...go away, I’m fine!" he snapped at Frodo and turned away again. "Can't make up your mind?" Frodo asked playfully,trying to cheer him up at least a little,but when he didn't answer,Frodo started to become honestly worried. Never before in his life had Frodo seen Pippin so sad and it pained him greatly to see a creature once so happy and energetic to be so tormented. Tears were something that simply were definitely not fit for such a cheerful face. "What is the matter?" asked Frodo, genuinely concerned. As he sat down beside Pippin and laid his arm about him, Pippin let his tears flow freely again. "Oh Frodo, why did things have to turn out this way? A while ago we were back at home in the Shire living our lives in peace...and now we are so far far away, not even knowing if we will ever return back home alive again! I...I have been nothing but a burden to everyone in the Fellowship! It was my fault that we lost Gandalf!"

Frodo looked at Pippin in amazement and shook his head in protest. "No. No Pippin, it was not—", but Pippin would not let him go on. "Frodo, you saw what happened! I had to go and drop that cursed skeleton thing in the well and cause that terrible noise down there! The Orcs would not have noticed us if I hadn’t made all that noise! I only hope that the rest of the Fellowship can someday find it in their hearts to forgive me...Fool of a Took indeed..." Frodo smiled gently and took Pippin by the hand. "It could have been anyone of us. Anyone could have made that noise, Pippin. Do not blame yourself...please...please do not think that you are responsible for the turn of things..." "Oh but I am, Frodo, I am...!", but Frodo simply shook his head again. "Was it your fault that Orcs came to Moria in the first place, Pippin? Was it your fault that the Dwarves once delved too deep and awakened the Balrog? Were the Cave Troll and the Watcher your fault too? I doubt they were. You have been so brave all the while that I marvel at your courage! Only a burden, Pippin? I would have to ask you to think again!" Pippin could say nothing to this, but just sighed as tears rolled down his cheeks again. At length he whispered, "I miss Gandalf...", and Frodo held him in his arms in a long and warm embrace and said, "So do I do I...I promise you, everything will be alright..." Then, after a while they let go of each other and sat on the shore, looking at their own reflections on the surface of the river and speaking of almost everything between heaven and earth. At length Frodo got to his feet, "Now go to sleep, Pippin. In a few hours we probably have to travel again" "Thank you Frodo..." Pippin whispered, "already now I feel so much better" And with a warm smile he went to lie down beside Merry who was snoring quietly. Before Frodo disappeared back through the trees, he looked back at Pippin and said, "Fool of a Took indeed...", and Pippin threw playfully an apple at Frodo and they both laughed quietly as a pale moon appeared in the cloudy night sky.

"Frodo! Frodo wake up!!"...he could hear his name being called somewhere in the distance, but he was so tired that he simply forgot where he was, moaned softly in protest and turned over to his side where he lay. A few second later he was wide awake for he felt himself being raised up. He looked up to see Legolas helping him to his feet. "We must leave immediately!" Legolas shouted, "The Uruks are at our trail! They are almost here!". In a matter of seconds the boats were packed and ready to go. "They are too many!" Frodo heard Boromir shouting, "We must fly! Now!! Hurry Gimli! Sam, leave the cooking pot, come on now, hurry! Quickly now!". As the boats left the shore Frodo looked back up the river and saw far off in the distance large black figures in the forests. Suddenly arrows started flying! Many flew past them only inches from their heads. And Aragorn and Legolas answered. Many Orcs fell dead, slain by the power of Elvish arrows. The Hobbits cowered down to shelter themselves from the deadly orc-arrows swishing above their heads. All at once Merry cried out in terrible pain! An orc-arrow had flown past him, leaving a deep bleeding wound on his arm. Frodo looked up, over to Merry’s boat just in time to see Pippin throw himself over Merry to shelter him from more arrows. "Merry!!!" Frodo cried out, alarmed, and stood up in his boat. "Frodo get down!!" Aragorn shouted from somewhere in front of him. Sam pulled him back down just as three arrows flew over his head. "Stay low, Mr. Frodo, Merry will be alright!" Sam shouted and held Frodo’s hand tightly. Eventually the arrows seized coming and the Hobbits raised their heads warily. A large part of the Orcs had been slain. The Fellowship had escaped only briefly. The remainder of the Orcs were eventually left behind. The company was safe for now. But for how one could tell.

The last phase of their journey on the Great River had now begun. As the boats gracefully glided along the river, Frodo could feel that something was drawing near, and he feared it greatly, only he did not know what it was. He was a bit cold and he shivered as he felt a warm hand on his shoulder. Then he heard Aragorn’s voice whispering, "Remember, Frodo...courage is needed now more than ever...". Suddenly those mighty and breathtaking statues of the Argonath came into view and the company beheld them in awe. This kind of grandeur and power Frodo had never seen before and he suddenly felt as if he was standing before ancient and powerful majesties of old, and he placed his hands on his heart and bowed his head in respect. Somehow, as he carefully glanced up at the Argonath one last time, he thought he could almost see Aragorn standing there as one of the grand statues, so much did these great kings of old remind him of good old Strider. But perhaps his eyes were only playing tricks on him...As the boats floated onwards and the Argonath were at length left behind them, the wind started blowing from the East. And Frodo knew that the winds of change were now blowing...

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