Prologue & The Spell
: I do not own any of the characters in this story. They belong to Joss Whedon, J.R.R. Tolkien, and their other respective owners.A/N ABOUT THIS STORY
: As you can tell, I’ve taken several scenes directly from Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Lord of the Rings, word-for-word in the dialogue. This is not to rip off any of the real writers because I respect their work and I am not a plagiarist. This is an artistic ploy to put the reader in the mindset of where they are and is essential to the story. The Buffy episodes used were episodes (5.5) “No Place Like Home,” written by Doug Petrie and (5.22) “The Gift,” written by Joss Whedon. The movies used are, of course, Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring and Lord of the Rings: Return of the King, written by Frances Walsh, Philippa Boyens and Peter Jackson, based on the books by J.R.R. Tolkien (if you didn’t know that, shame, shame).
Also, the Prologue ends where ~~~~~~~~~~~ appears. It is the exact point where the actual LOTR and Buffy stories end and mine begins – the beginning of Chapter One. It didn’t seem fit to cram a title in there.
Prologue & The Spell:
~~~Rivendell: October 24~~~
“Packed already?” Frodo Baggins asked, approaching his friend Samwise Gamgee. Sam was kneeling down at their leather bags that sat against a short wall overlooking a stunning view of waterfalls and cottages while golden light rested upon them.
Sam stood up as Frodo approached him and gazed down at the bags, “No harm in being prepared.”
“I thought you wanted to see the Elves, Sam,” Frodo replied.
“More than anything,” he added.
“I did,” Sam weakly answered. “It’s just… we did what Gandalf wanted, didn’t we? We got the ring this far to Rivendell. And I thought… seeing as how you’re on the mend, we’d be off soon.” He added with a sigh, “Off home.”
Frodo glanced up at the waterfalls with his back to Sam as he remembered his beautiful and peaceful home where he could forget the nightmares he’d faced at Bree and on Weathertop where he was stabbed. His shoulder still stung with pain now and then.
“You’re right, Sam,” Frodo softly answered as he turned to his best friend. “We did what we set out to do.” Frodo pulled the golden Ring from his pocket as the two hobbits stared down at it. “The Ring will be safe in Rivendell,” Frodo declared with a small exhale.
~~~Sunnydale, California: October 24~~~
“Someone put a spell on my mom,” Buffy Summers announced with worry as she sat at the reference table in the newly-opened Magic Box, of which her best friend’s girlfriend, Anya, and her watcher, Rupert Giles were the owners of. “Something to make it seem like she’s sick.”
Her best friend, Xander Harris, stood before her and stared at her with shock. His black, curly hair fell into his eyes as he turned away and thought about how Buffy’s mother, Joyce Summers, had collapsed into unconsciousness just a few weeks before. “That’s a new kind of nasty,” he declared, disgusted. “Any suspects?”
“Well,” Buffy declared with a sigh as she pushed her blonde hair back, “I’ve got the list of suspects narrowed down to just under infinity.”
Also in the magic store, Willow Rosenberg, Buffy and Xander’s other best friend, walked up to Anya, Xander’s girlfriend, and held up a poorly-wrapped hourglass with pieces of crumpled wrapping paper and scotch tape hanging wildly off of it. “Does this look right to you?” Willow asked, exasperated.
“Sure,” Anya blankly stared at her, and then matter-of-factly answered, “if you wrapped it with your feet.” Anya took the hourglass out of Willow’s hands and began to wrap the product herself as Willow rolled her eyes and looked away.
“You know, Buffy,” Anya declared as she diligently wrapped the hourglass, “there used to be this French sorcerer back in the sixteenth I-don’t-know-what named—”
“Cloutier?” Giles answered, as he approached them. The British man in his late forties stood nearby and listened to the late teenage to early twenty-year-olds that had become his family in the past five years.
“So cute in his little knickers,” Anya, the ex-vengeance demon over 1000 years old answered with a nod. “But he had this one spell demons just hated called 'tirer la couture.'”
“‘Rotate many foodstuffs’?” Buffy asked, relying on her not-so-reliable French translation skills.
“‘Pull the curtain back,’” Willow translated perfectly, being the one not asleep in her high school French class.
“A spell to see spells,” Anya added. “Well, a trance to see spells, actually, but you get the idea. Try that.”
“What do you mean ‘see spells’?” Buffy asked.
“Well, all spells leave a trace signature,” Giles explained as he idly cleaned his glasses with a soft cloth. “It’s just not perceptible to the human eye. In this case, it could be the image of a hand choking your mother.”
“Or a cloud of mist around her,” Anya added.
“Or maybe the shape of the demon that’s performing the spell?” Willow asked.
Giles nodded, “Possible, yes.” Anya held up the perfectly Martha Stewart-wrapped hourglass for all to see as she glowed with a proud smile. Willow sighed with a frown planted on her face.
“Okay,” Buffy said with resolve, “so I’ll do what this Monsieur Silky Knickers did. I’ll go home, I’ll get trance-y, and I’ll see what’s affecting my mom.”
“I don’t know, Buffy,” Willow shook her head with concern. “Trances?”
“Yes, Buffy, the Sorcerer Cloutier was legendary,” Giles agreed. “His skills at achieving higher states of consciousness were—”
“Better than mine?” Buffy cut him off. When he didn’t answer, she turned to Willow. “I knew he was gonna say that. But I’ve been practicing on my concentration skills. I know I’m close.”
Giles gazed at her gravely, “Are you ready?”
“It’s my mom,” Buffy declared seriously. “I’ll get ready.”
Aragorn looked up from his book and glanced up at Boromir, son of the Steward of Gondor, as he entered the dimmed room. He walked over to the magnificent painting of the great Isildur as he raised his broken sword towards the Dark Lord Sauron. Boromir’s blue eyes were fixed on the painting, as he then turned away and walked towards a grand statue behind him.
In the hands of the statue rested the sacred shards of a once-glorious sword. “The shards of Narsil,” Boromir breathed, taken by the glory of the artifact before him. He picked up the leather-wrapped handle of Narsil, the broken blade making the sword appear no longer than a dagger. Boromir brandished it nevertheless as he gazed at the broken sword. “The blade that cut the Ring from Sauron’s hand,” he said with awe.
Boromir ran his fingers along the blade and accidentally sliced the end of his finger, drawing blood. “It’s still sharp,” he said in surprise. Boromir’s blue eyes traveled across the room into Aragorn’s eyes as the Ranger stared at him, silent and unmoving. Boromir tossed the handle aside with haste and disappointment. “But no more than a broken heirloom.”
He spun on his heel and stomped out of the room, leaving Aragorn to his own seclusion once again. Aragorn stared down at the handle of Narsil as it clanked on the stone floor. The Ranger came to a stand and picked up the handle, looking at it for a few moments as the blade brought the memories of his history and the visions of his destiny to him at once. Destiny.
He put the blade down in its place in the hands of the statue before him and stepped away from it.
Buffy sat cross-legged on the floor in her bedroom, surrounded by a circle of sand and lighted incense as the sunlight poured in through her window. In complete silence, she sat still in the circle with her back straight as she placed her hands on her knees and closed her eyes. She felt a complete calm run through her mind – through her veins even as she forgot about everything.
Her annoying brat sister, her rejected boyfriend, the obnoxious vampire following her around, her friends… her watcher… her poor, poor mother…
Loud bangs rang out through the room as Buffy ripped her eyes open in frustration. On the other side of her door, she could the voice of her little sister, Dawn. “What are you doing?” Dawn called out nosily.
“My boyfriend!” Buffy shot back quickly in annoyance. “Go away.”
“Liar,” Dawn declared. “Are you doing magic?”
“No, I’m not!” Buffy shouted.
“Can I watch?” Dawn asked, standing at Buffy’s door in the hallway.
“No,” Buffy sighed, “you can’t.”
“Oh, come on,” Dawn whined… again. “Please! Please! Like times ten and cubed? Please?” Dawn looked down at the doorknob and began to twist it as her sister hastily shoved the door closed again, slamming it in her face. “Yeah, well," Dawn snapped, "I can smell your stinky incense down the hall, you know! And your clothes are gonna reek! And if you’re doing magic, I am so telling!”
“Fine!” Buffy shouted as she shoved a towel in the crack underneath her bedroom door. “Fine! Go tell! Go do whatever you want! Just go!”
On the other side of the door, Dawn stepped back, feeling rejected once again and turned away from her big sister’s door.
With a sigh, she walked down the stairs into her living room just as Spike ripped open the front door to the foyer and rushed inside, carrying a blanket over his head as smoke retreated from beneath his black leather duster.
“Spike?” Dawn declared as the vampire took the blanket off of his head, revealing his platinum-blonde, slicked-back hair.
“Bit,” Spike nodded and declared in his Cockney accent, peering around the empty foyer. No one else seemed to be there. “Your sister’s not around, is she?”
“Yeah,” Dawn answered in confusion. “She’s upstairs doing some stupid spell or something. She never lets me in on—”
“Bloody shame,” Spike cut her off, not really interested in what she had to say. He anxiously walked away from her, pacing through the dining area and into the kitchen as Dawn followed.
“Why are you here?” Dawn asked. “I’m guessing you weren’t out for a daylight jog…” She thought to herself, then asked excitedly, “Ooh, is it something evil?” Spike stared at her strangely as she continued, “Is some big nasty on its way? Do we need to assemble the troops?”
“We?” Spike repeated as he reached into the Summers’ refrigerator and rummaged around.
“Yeah,” Dawn answered, “us…? The Scoobies?”
“First of all,” Spike straightened up, finally having found a Heinekens, “I’m not part of the damn… Scooby group. Second of all, if I did have news, you’re not the one I’d be telling it to.”
“Why not?” Dawn asked in a whiny voice.
“No offense, nibblet,” Spike peered at her with a curled brow. “You’re not exactly in
the Justice League.” He rolled his eyes and popped open the bottle of beer, “Not anymore than I am, at least.” Dawn sighed in annoyance as she leaned against the kitchen table. The front door opened abruptly as Willow and Xander rushed in.
“Buffy!” Willow called frantically.
“Dawn,” Xander looked into the dining area, where Buffy’s sister was and the two of them rushed in from the foyer. “Dawn, where’s… Spike?” The words faded away as he glared at the vampire standing in the kitchen with a beer in hand. “What are you doing here?” Xander spat defensively.
“Lookin’ for Buffy,” Spike defiantly answered with a brazen grin. “So nice of you to ask…”
“We need to talk to Buffy,” Willow declared with a sense of urgency.
“Geez, exactly when did she
get all important?” Dawn asked, aggravated. The three others turned to her with identical expressions. “Right,” she sighed, “don’t answer that. Well, she’s up in her room doing a spell. Good luck getting to her.”
“Oh, no!” Willow gasped. “We have to stop her!” Willow and Xander turned around in a rush and ran up the stairs to Buffy’s bedroom. Spike jumped to his feet, quickly rounding around Dawn and rushing to the foot of the staircase, just a few feet behind Xander and Willow. The three of them ran up the stairs, Dawn following the last without the sense of urgency the others possessed.
Buffy could hear Willow’s voice coming from outside of her bedroom. Push it away
, she thought. Mom needs me
“Buffy, don’t do it!” Willow shouted, grabbing the doorknob and thrusting the door open, but coming to a screeching halt before she entered the room. Xander, not a master of reflexes, slammed into Willow as Spike collided into Xander and the three of them tossed themselves into Buffy’s bedroom. They collapsed on the floor as Dawn rushed up to the room to have the door suddenly slam in her face again, but this time by an unseen force.
Dawn beat on the door frantically and tried to open it, but it wouldn’t budge. With a gasp, Buffy’s green eyes opened wide and wind pushed itself down her throat, choking her violently.
Frodo halted suddenly in his path and he clutched the One Ring tightly as wind shoved itself down his throat as well. He fell to his knees, coughing and strangling and he clutched the Ring with all his might.
“Mr. Frodo!” Sam called and he reached down for his friend. Their other friends, Merry and Pippin, stood nearby and gazed down at Frodo in shock as the hobbit began to convulse wildly.
“Gandalf!” Pippin shouted out, calling for the wizard’s aid. “Gandalf, come quickly! It’s Frodo!”
Aragorn dropped down to his knees and clutched his throat as an unseen force stretched its way down his throat, clawing as it descended into his lungs. He scratched at his neck wildly on the floor on his knees. The beautiful maiden Arwen had just entered the room when this had happened.
“Aragorn!” she called in terror as the man she loved gasped for air. She rushed to his side and felt helpless as he squirmed, seemingly in tremendous pain. Arwen jumped to her feet and rushed out of the stone room, running outside frantically.
“Hear me!” she called out to all that could hear. “Aragorn is falling! Bare him hence! Hear me!”
Boromir stopped and turned around as he heard Lady Arwen’s calls, now on the other side of the courtyard. Also nearby, walking and talking with some Elf elders, was Prince Legolas. The handsome elf prince with sharp hearing and long blonde hair turned quickly around and ran towards the sounds of Arwen’s calls.
He sped past a short, round man with a long, red beard and equally longer hair that watched him run. “Elves,” Gimli the Dwarf scoffed and rolled his eyes, and then heard Arwen’s screams as well. Gimli grabbed his axe and raced after the elf as fast as his short legs could take him.
Boromir, Legolas and Gimli were the first on scene as Arwen stood in the doorway and pointed towards Aragorn. They rushed to him as he remained doubled over on the floor, gasping for air.
“He cannot breathe!” Legolas shouted with urgency.
“Lift him up!” Boromir ordered. They followed the orders as Arwen watched nervously nearby.
“What can I do?” she asked.
“Call for your father,” Boromir declared and Arwen did not waste another moment and was out the door immediately. Aragorn closed his eyes tightly as images shoved themselves through his brain.A woman, beautiful and young, with golden hair and in strange clothing – that of a man – stood atop a high tower. She held a younger woman in her arms – a young girl with golden-brown hair dressed in a long, flowing, purple dress – not as strange as the other woman’s clothing. Aragorn could feel the gust of cool wind swirling around them as saw the two girls hug each other in a loving embrace as tears flowed down the apple cheeks of the younger girl’s lovely face.
Frodo held his eyes closed very tightly, seeing the same images Aragorn was currently seeing. Two women, one dressed in a white shirt with light brown pants, like a man, and the other dressed in a long, violet satin dress. A small distance away from them, a gigantic cloud of light was erupting, shifting, moving and pulsing as it grew larger and larger, rumbling and crashing in the sky. A dragon flew out of the cloud of lightning, screaming with terrifying howls, the shrieks paining Frodo’s ears.
“The hardest thing in this world is to live in it…”
Frodo heard the soft, calm voice of resolve in his head. “Be brave… Live… For me…”
The older woman kissed the young girl on the cheek and forced herself to turn away. Frodo and Aragorn saw the woman’s face, full of determination as she pushed away her fears.
Buffy coughed and gasped as images clouded her mind of a fiery, hellish place so real she could practically feel the heat on her face. A child with curly blonde hair and the face of man leaned over the edge of a giant rock that stretched out over a river of lava. Hanging on the very edge of the rock, moments away from falling, was another short man with brown curly hair and big blue eyes. The little man’s hands were bloody as he desperately clung on to the rock.
His face was full of exhaustion and he stared up at the other little man as he reached down for him with urgency. The brown-haired man looked up at the hand of his friend and then glanced down at the fiery river below. Aragorn and Frodo watched the woman turned swiftly on her heel and race down a metal pathway, away from her companion, as the younger girl stood helplessly behind and fell into tears. With every step, the older woman became more determined as she raced to the end of the pathway as thunder crashed around her and lighting illuminated the night sky not far above her head.
With a few more steps, she reached the end of the pathway and leapt off of the edge in a glorious swan dive with her arms stretched outwards as she cast her body into the cloud of lightning. Her petite body fell into the swarming cloud as if diving into an ocean of light, and she disappeared into the portal. “Don’t you let go!” the blonde man shouted to his friend, as Buffy saw both of them in the fiery chasm as before. “Don’t let go…!” he called as he held out his hand as far as he could reach. The brown-haired man gazed up at his friend with a new look of determination in his eyes. The brown-haired man threw up his bloody hand into his friend’s grip, as the other little man held on with all of his might.
With a gasp, Buffy’s eyes popped open. She looked to her left and right quickly, to see Willow and Xander on her left and Spike on her right. “What was that?” she asked. “Did anybody else see—”
“Uh, Buffy…” Xander cut her off, and let the words fade away.
Her friends and Spike all had stunned expressions as they looked around, mouths agape, at their surroundings. Buffy stared at her surroundings as well.
They stood in the middle of a gigantic forest as golden leaves floated down from the trees like flakes of peaceful snow. Sounds of every animal and smells of every kind wrapped around them, encasing them in the heavenly world straight from the pages of a storybook as golden light poured down on them.