The Evenstar Approaches
Turns out, three years is a very, very, short time for elves but somehow still not enough for Buffy to learn Sindarin, the main language spoken by elves of the age, or Rohirric, a language spoken by a nation of plains dwelling horsemen. She was doing much better with the physical things, as always. Learning to ride had been fun and her horse, an elvish warhorse named Ecthelara, meaning noble spear, was a beautiful horse. Thanks to her slow growth since becoming elven she was now roughly five feet eight inches tall, still shorter than the other elves in Lothlórien and only brought her up to the shoulder of the tall blond horse.
The elf assigned to teach her archery had been dumbfounded. The elf in question, one of the marchwarden’s named Haldir, had sighed when she told him, in fairly broken Sindarin before he told her he could speak the common tongue and she sagged in relief, that she’d never used a regular bow.
Looking at the target punctured by ten shots, all of which were at least in the inner ring at a hundred yards, then at Haldir Buffy rubbed the back of her head sheepishly.
“You lied to me didn’t you, you were a marksman wherever you’re from weren’t you?” Haldir accused with a smirk.
“No! I’m not lying, this is pretty much the first time I’ve ever held a bow. It’s just...” Buffy trailed off and Haldir stared at her expectantly. “One of the gifts given to me as a dagnir is that I instinctively know most weapons, including weapons I’ve never held before.”
Haldir nodded for a moment, he’d been told about the shorter elf’s abilities, but he hadn’t known how much stock to put in her word. “It seems there is no reason to give you lessons in archery,” He remarked with a smirk.
Buffy would have replied snarkily but a horn sounded and both snapped their heads in the direction. The horn sounded twice more in an obvious call for aid and without a word to Haldir Buffy was off, her feet carrying her faster than a horse could toward the horn. Getting closer she could sense why they’d blown a horn, it felt like a band of Goblins was trying to attack them as they entered Lothlórien.
Ignoring the fact that she had no weapon, having already replaced the practice bow and arrows on the stand near the range, Buffy darted toward the melee and with a flying leap found herself right in the middle. A powerful elbow breaking the nose of a goblin later she was armed, granted it was an inferior blade but it would do for now. Aware of her surroundings as only a slayer could be, she spun and slashed and danced through the goblin ranks, elven arrows whizzing by her head not once so much as cutting a hair as she weaved a dance for those who had invaded her home, the dance of death.
The last goblin dead, his head rolling away from his body after a vicious slash from Buffy, the dagnir relaxed. It had been too long since she’d gotten in a good fight. A gasp from her left made her spin and there was the party that had been under attack.
“Tar-Míriel,” one of the elves uttered in shock.
Buffy looked behind her, turned back and raised one blond eyebrow at the dark-haired elf. Looking around, and finding no one, Buffy only asked, “Who?”
“You... you look just like Tar-Miriel, the last true queen of Numenor,” the elf replied.
“Wasn’t Numenor destroyed like... three thousand years ago?” Buffy asked, she knew elves were immortal but still...
“Lady, I am six thousand years old and you look just like my niece. I am Elrond Peredhel,” The dark-haired elf responded.
Buffy thought for a moment deciding not to introduce herself as Buffy, instead as the name Galadriel had introduced her as to the galadhrim shortly after her arrival. She should probably start thinking of herself that way too... “Ariel Dagnir, at your service Lord Elrond.”
“Where is your horse Lady Ariel?” Another elf, also dark-haired but this one a girl, seated upon a mostly white horse.
“In the stable at Caras Galadhon,” Ariel responded, getting an entire caravan of funny looks sent her way from everyone but Elrond who nodded in understanding.
“You’re that dagnir? The one naneth sent for me about?” Elrond asked, revealing the reason for his own presence in Lothlórien. The trip had been planned for over a year, Arwen had wanted to see her daernaneth for the past five, but Elrond had joined in the trip at last minute, elf time, he’d joined the plans for the trip three months before they left Imladris.
“I am,” Ariel replied, tilting her head hearing horses come up the path. “The wardens will be here soon. Sooner if we continue along the path till we meet them.” Not waiting for their answer she started walking down the path back toward Caras Galadhon
“But-” the elven girl’s voice spoke out as the party started moving.
Elrond interrupted her, his hand raised in a gesture for silence. “Not now Arwen. I suspect we’ll be talking about it when we get to our destination. Some things should not be spoken of on the open road.”
Arwen nodded and the group continued down the road, the wardens getting to them as they made it out of sight of the ambush-site.
Ariel smirked at Haldir’s frustrated look when he saw her walking at the head of the group.
“Lady Ariel, you know The Lady wishes you to stay closer to Caras Galadhon, not running off to intercept orc parties,” the exasperated marchwarden declared.
“If I hadn’t run off there would be more than two of this convoy hurt or killed,” Ariel retorted. Galadriel didn’t want her to leave the area around Caras Galadhon until her Sindarin and Quenya was better but the slayer inside her wouldn’t just let it go when she knew someone was calling for aid. Not even mentioning the fact she hadn't had a real fight in over three years now.
Haldir inclined his head in acknowledgement of the truth behind Ariel’s words. Turning his head he barked something in Sindarin, too fast for Ariel to understand, and the wardens surrounded Elrond’s group and began a fast trot back toward Caras Galadhon, Ariel easily keeping pace.
Though the elven horses were only trotting, their speed matched lesser horses gallop and they made it to Caras Galadhon in less than a half hour after the wardens met up with Elrond’s group.
Feeling the need to say something, even though she was fairly certain all the elves around her had been in Lothlórien at one point or another Ariel announced, “Welcome, to Caras Galadhon!”