Legolas was unsure of his friend’s reasons for bonding with the girl.
But then again, Aragorn was very wise in his judgment of character and making of friends.
But how incredibly odd she was.
What was even odder was seeing Aragorn conversing with her so much. It all started so suddenly. One moment, his dearest friend was wasting away in the room loaned to him while the girl hid away in her room, reading her books and playing with her… computer… as they called it. The next, Aragorn’s eyes were lighting up, just a little bit, once in a while, when he saw the dark-headed child.
He overheard most of what they spoke of as he overheard mostly everything that went on in the hotel. She was sometimes asking him to translate any Elvish passages she might have come across. But that was very seldom, as there was apparently very little in their resources on Middle-earth. She found several of what she thought to be prophecies, and asked if he recognized any connotations: but again, seldom.
Then there were all the other times they spoke.
Many times, after most everyone had retired, save Gandalf and perhaps the vampire, he would find him telling her of Middle-earth: the Fellowship, the hobbits, the elves, Gondor, and –most of all– Arwen. Gandalf would usually be there to contribute occasionally. The old wizard’s eyes would twinkle at the girl’s captivation with the King’s tales. Aragorn enjoyed her fascination with his stories as well: usually pausing at exceptionally intense moments or asking Gandalf for assistance for details that he somehow could not recall, much to his listener’s impatience.
Legolas, as was his way, lurked in the background, saying little and observing everything. He watched the group that resided in the hotel along with his friends. The vampire and the boy often darkened ever-so-slightly when they saw Aragorn occupying Dawn’s attention. The elf did not take this as threatening. He took it as a small bout of jealousy on their part having probably been used to being the center of the youth’s world. The man named Wesley seemed to have a dark past behind him; but that shadowy cloud that hung around him often dissipated when the Lady Winifred was with him. After observing the golden-hearted brunette, Legolas assessed that it was no surprise that she brought such joy to the darker-mooded man.
Legolas regretted his initial hostility toward the green creature. He was not at all harmful. He was the most jovial of the entire group, and loved dance and music, despite how very different his style was. Charles Gunn was a man he found himself respecting: a skilled fighter, despite his plainness next to his super-powered colleagues, and seemed to come from a difficult past as well. The other woman, Lady Cordelia, was a puzzle, but not one he was overly curious about. She was conceited, self-absorbed, and frivolous. It was visible, however, in a few rare moments that she was a caring individual: at least, in a few cases. She apparently had visions, but he had not witnessed her have one.
All of this observation took about a fourth of his time. The remaining went to the youngest girl. He would not have paid her so much attention had Aragorn not seemed so fond of her for reason that were, again, unknown to him.
She was so seemingly unremarkable and then also enigmatic to him: he did not like it. It seemed as if everything she ever thought about thinking came out of the mouth that never seemed closed. When out in the open, she had an opinion about everything: usually a sarcastic one. It was hard for him to imagine that she had saved his life at his entrance of this world; but as he soon discovered, it was a fluke. She was not that great of a fighter. It was not out of lack of wanting on her part or even possible skill, but on lack of instruction of others. They did not seem interested in training her rather than keeping her sheltered from all that they feared. He saw potential in her graceful movements, lighter steps, and keener senses then he knew humans to have. Her family, and even herself, did not seem to take notice of her advantage. But far be it from him to say anything about it. So there she was: opinionated, stubborn enough to shame any dwarf -including Gimli- and a weak fighter. (He thought of his dwarven friend for a moment. Gimli would be most upset when he realized he, Aragorn, and Gandalf had gone off on an adventure without him. But he had been two weeks away from Gondor at the time.) What she lacked in fighting she made up for in the more cerebral abilities. The girl was a walking text, especially when it came to magic. He was unsure if he liked one so young fooling with magic, but it was not his place to say, yet. It appeared that everything about her was readable from five minutes of watching her.
And then there was something he seemed to miss... something he missed and Aragorn did not.
No, he didn’t truly miss it. He knew there was something there. Aragorn just seemed closer to knowing what it was.
He had heard of the unfortunate death of her apparently adopted mother and mysterious death of her adopted sister. During the day, there were no signs of any grief whatsoever: as if their death did not bother her in the least. It was at night, when no one was around –only him lurking around the hotel– did he see an aura of despair around her. She was usually the remaining one in the lobby when Aragorn would go to sleep after one of their stories. Aragorn would wish her a good night and she would return to any book she would be reading. How different she would look then. Any search for deception he had would vanish and he would simply watch her. She made for a pretty girl and showed promised for a beautiful woman one day. That was, if she did not dress as she did. There were her flaws of childhood that made it clear that she was not yet a woman. Her eyes were very big, her form tall and skinny. She dressed as if she were a man; but, then again, so did the other women of this world. Her hair that should have framed her face with its shiny locks was often pulled back in sloppy braids and buns.
How sad she looked then. When she thought no one was around, her guard was let down, sadness etched in her eyes. Truly it must be hard for a child to lose her entire family in one way or another. It was not known what happened to her father, but it was quite clear he was no longer in her life. Perhaps that was why Aragorn sought her company. She knew what loss was. And she tried so hard to find anything she could on their missing princess.
Thoughts of the missing Princess made his blood boil. He rarely became so angry. Anyone who would try to rob his dearest friends of their long awaited happiness would suffer at his hands, if he could help it. He longed to bury several arrows in the creatures that had taken her.
He watched as Dawn went for yet another night without much sleep. Surely, humans needed more rest than this. Aragorn had finished telling Dawn of Elrond and Gil-Galad during the earlier war with Sauron. Dawn, as always, listened intently and frowned in disappointment when he declared and end to the tale. He again debated on whether or not to approach her: see for himself if he could see why Aragorn desired her company so much. He decided against it, as before. He had not much to say to her -only his curiosity- and would not know how to go about it. She was but a youngling, after all.
“Legolas, my friend,” Aragorn greeted. “Have you finally decided to spare a word or two for conversation’s sake?” Legolas smiled at the king’s semi-jovial mood. Sadness was still carved at the corners of his eyes and mouth, but at least he did not seem as if he would pass on any moment from a broken heart.
“Forgive my silence, your highn-”
“Finish that sentence, and you’ll regret it,” the king said with a small smile. The elf returned it. Gandalf, who had been seated next to him, also smirked at the king’s distaste for formality.
“Forgive me, then, Aragorn.”
“What are you doing?” the elf questioned. Aragorn looked down at the piece of paper he had been reading.
“Dawn found this with that contraption of hers,” Gandalf stated. “Some of it is Elvish, but I don’t understand its significance.”
“What does it say?”
“From the breaking light was a child born, And from that breaking light shall a child be found. With sight from her blood, and strength from within, Her power shall spill from a God Hell-bound. It sounds like it might be significant, and no doubt the description could, indeed, be of Arien. Light is often associated with the King of Gondor. The sight from the blood could very well mean the gift of sight she could have, passed from both Elrond and Galadriel.”
“But I do not understand how this could be about Arien,” Aragorn said, as had been his opinion since Dawn had given it to them. “She has only been missing for three months.”
“That is why it is a prophecy, Aragorn,” Gandalf said. “They can be written many years before something happens. If Arien was prophesized to come to this world, then some from this world could have known about it.”
“Where is this prophecy from?” Legolas asked.
“Dawn said it was from texts from a museum. This specific book was from an order that called themselves monks of Dagon. She apparently was experienced personally with these monks; but she was, surprisingly, reluctant to say anything about it. She simply said the last of them had died a few years ago.”
“And why would these monks have a prophecy of Middle-earth?”
“That, I do not know,” the wizard admitted. “We’d best not tell Dawn about the possibility of this meaning something to us… at least until we are more confident that it is about Arien.”
“She does most of the research,” Aragorn said. “And she has had contact with these monks. Would it not be wise to help her investigate this further?”
“It would be wise,” Gandalf said. “But she seemed uncomfortable about the subject. The last thing I want to make her so.”
“I do not see why this order would make her so uncomfortable,” Legolas said, more to himself. “She is so verbally unaffected by all else.”
“This is true,” Gandalf said, mirth in his eyes. “I would like to ask Master Wesley first. Perhaps he will have more insight on whether or not to ask Dawn.”
“Where is everyone?” Aragorn said, just noticing the lack of bustling about.
“Most of our hosts went to investigate this dream demon they have been concerned about this past month.”
“It has shown itself?” the king asked. “Dawn mentioned something about it. Although, I confess, I had not listened about it much.”
“Master Wesley has kept me informed of their information on it,” Gandalf replied.
“I heard that it has been driving many of the citizens of this land to madness,” Legolas decided to add.
“Yes,” Gandalf replied. “They have had reports of several people injuring themselves out of escaping hallucination. Wesley said there had been a similar creature in Sunnydale where Dawn and her sister once lived. That demon, however, could affect the physical world. From what they know, this one appears only to be able to make others see their nightmares.”
“When will they be back?” Aragorn asked uneasily. He didn’t like the possibility of this new evil being around while they were searching for his daughter.
“Angel mentioned an old acquaintance he said he thought might have some more information on it origins,” the wizard replied.
“Angel,” Lindsey greeted in a fake friendliness. “I’ve been back for almost six months and not a peep of greeting. If you think I’m just going to let that one blow over…”