Spoilers: Any and all books of both the Harry Potter and the Lord of the Rings series.
A/N: Harry Potter and his friends enter Middle-earth in order to prevent Draco Malfoy from obtaining the one ring and returning to their own time bringing with him the darkest evil of all. Who will they encounter in Middle-earth and how will they be received? More important, can they get to the ring before Draco?
Series written by: SheDoesMagic (FFN) and Melian (FFN).
On the Heels of the Fellowship
Harry shivered as the chill wind blew through the heather around him. His eyes strained adjusting to the sudden bright light. He immediately wished he had packed warmer clothes. Standing atop what looked like the Highland moors of Scotland, the young wizard wondered where his friends were. Turning around, Harry stepped back catching his breath. The sight of Rivendell was even more beautiful than he'd ever imagined. Harry took a few steps forward gazing in awe at the numerous magnificent waterfalls surrounding the home of Elrond. The detailed architecture was just as he'd pictured it in his mind years ago when he first read the book. Delicate archways carved in white stone mimicked nature itself. Broad verandas and balconies overlooked the river below. Looking closer, Harry could see figures moving about the walkways and terraces, and it thrilled him to know that these were Tolkien's elves.
Wrenched back into reality, at least this reality, by the hand of Hermione Granger, Harry was nearly hurled away from this magnificent sight. "What are you doing?" she whispered. "The elves can see much better than humans. Do you have any idea what they will do to us if we are caught here?"
"What?" Ron inquired.
"Well, for one, we'll never be allowed to leave the last homely house," she assured him.
"The what?" they asked in unison.
"Rivendell," she scoffed.
After a slight pause, Ron inquired further, "Rivendale, What's that?"
"Riven-DELL, not Riven-DALE. And it's a 'where,' not a 'what.' " she whispered insistently.
"Why are we whispering?" Ron asked.
"Because in addition to excellent sight, the elves have excellent hearing," Harry added.
"Let's get off this road. Even with Harry's invisibility cloak we are going to have to be very careful." Hermione ushered them away from the breath-taking sight of Rivendell back toward the River Bruinen. While walking down the road, Hermione reached into Harry's backpack to retrieve his invisibility cloak.
"We need to be concealed under the invisibility cloak because we don't know who's watching," Hermione insisted. Moving in-between the two young men, Hermione wrapped the cloak around them all.
"How long are we going to have to be tripping over one another like this?" Ron asked.
"About 5 seconds," Hermione replied. With that, she pulled her wand from her robe pocket and spoke: "engorgio amiculum." Suddenly the weight of the cloak felt slightly heavier, and the sides drug along the ground. "Well that answers that question."
"What question," Harry inquired.
"Whether or not we'd be able to do magic in Middle-earth," she replied proudly.
"You mean you didn't know whether or not we could do magic here?" Ron implored.
"Well, in theory, we shouldn't have had any problem doing magic; we haven't changed. However, there was a slight probability that magical laws governing Middle-earth would not apply to us," Hermione answered astutely.
"Don't you think you should have made certain," Ron continued. "You could warn us about these things before we jump into a book, into another place, another time, another reality!" His whispering grew ever louder with each word.
"Ron, Malfoy's the one who invented the potion. We didn't even think it would work," Harry defended.
"It shouldn't have worked," Hermione insisted.
"Well, we're here," Ron concluded.
"All right, keep your voices down." Hermione scolded as they approached the Ford of Bruinen. She led them off the road a short distance. "Make yourselves comfortable. We're going to have to wait here until the Fellowship passes by."
"A church group?"
Hermione refused to dignify Ron with an answer. She merely glared at the redhead. "I'm going to get some rest. We've got a long journey ahead of us. Someone needs to stay awake to keep an eye out for the Fellowship. They won't be passing by until after dusk if they are coming tonight." Finding a grassy spot, Hermione took off her backpack and laid her cloak down before she curled up to take a nap. Harry followed her lead resting just beside her.
"No, that's all right, don't worry about things. I'll stay awake. You just sleep." Both Harry and Hermione opted to ignore his sarcasm and were soon asleep. Propping himself up against a boulder by his two sleeping friends, Ron rooted around in Hermione's backpack. She always had something to read. Finding a small bundle of books, he whispered: "engorgio liber;" and took the topmost book off the pile: "The Lord of the Rings."
- - - - - - - - - -
Harry stretched stiff legs. He had been sitting on the cold, hard ground for over a day now. The few short walks taken when they were all awake had not been enough to stretch cramped muscles. Harry yawned. Since the sun was setting in the west, Harry decided it a good idea to wake his companions. He was just reaching over to shake the redhead awake when he caught movement out of the corner of his eye. Coming over the rise from Rivendell could be none other than the great wizard Gandalf. A man accompanied him. Behind the two men followed 4 smaller figures, who Harry assumed must be the hobbits. Behind them, another man, a dwarf. And lastly, what most certainly was an elf. Harry checked his hand and then moved to awaken Hermione instead. Ron would most assuredly grumble, alerting the company to their presence.
Hermione woke quietly at Harry's slightest touch. Hearing the voices of passing fellowship, she immediately began gathering her things. Meanwhile, Harry placed one hand firmly over Ron's mouth as he gently shook him awake. Ron appeared startled at first, but upon seeing Harry's gesture to remain quiet, he immediately understood. In short order, all three were packed and ready to proceed. Hermione gave the fellowship enough of a head start so that they could follow without being detected.
The wind howled around the three Gryffindors threatening to blow the invisibility cloak off and reveal them. All three had to firmly grasp the edges of the cloak bringing them closer together. No one complained however, because the wind was bitingly cold, and they were grateful for the added body heat. Now that the sun had set, darkness quickly descended making it difficult for them to see where they were going. Under the seven- day-old moon, Hermione's eyes strained to keep on the same path as the company.
Suddenly, Ron, catching his toe on a rock, lost his balance and fell face forward onto the road. Following closely behind, Hermione and Harry were pulled down as Ron's momentum yanked the cloak forward without warning. All three lay in a heap in the road.
"I can't breathe. Get off me!" Ron insisted.
"Ssshhh!" Hermione implored.
"What? Are you worried your silencing spell didn't work?" Ron said. Walking about 10 to 20 paces behind the company was only possibly because Hermione had placed a silencing charm on all things covered by the invisibility cloak. Ron hated that she had thought of everything, as usual.
"I don't want to lose them in the dark; let's get going," Harry insisted. With his words, he jumped up and helped his two friends to their feet. Quickly they hastened after the retreating fellowship. As they again came up behind the members of the fellowship, they noticed two of the hobbits were talking with the dwarf, but none of the three could understand what was being said.
Ron was the first to broach the subject. "Are they speaking English?"
"Oh drat, I completely forgot!" Taking out her wand, Hermione whispered: "Lingua intellectum!" Suddenly the words of the hobbits could be understood. Even though the hobbits were not speaking English, the three young wizards could understand every word.
"How long did it take you to grow that beard," asked the smallest hobbit, whom Hermione knew must be Pippin.
"I have been growing this beard all my life, master hobbit," replied the dwarf. Harry smiled to himself at the sound of Gimli's gruff voice; it was exactly as he'd imagined it would be.
"And how long is that," asked the other hobbit, undoubtedly Merry.
"Thirty-nine and one-hundred years."
"Does it itch? It looks like it would itch," Pippin inquired further.
"No, master hobbit, it does not itch. In fact, it keeps one very warm on cold nights such as this," the dwarf said proudly. "Do not hobbits grow beards?"
"No, we grow our hair on our feet – and on our heads," the hobbit added.
"I've only seen beards on dwarves and on men, though, I've had little experience with both. I wonder do elves grow beards?" Without pausing, Pippin eagerly turned to face the elf of Mirkwood. "Legolas, do elves grow beards?"
"No," Legolas replied simply.
Pippin waited for further explanation, but seeing as there was none coming, he turned back to Gimli.
"I guess it's just dwarves and men, then," Pippin concluded.
"Yes, with the elves, it is difficult to tell the males from the females."
"I suppose so. Do dwarven females have beards?"
Before Gimli could respond, Aragorn turned around to face the company. "Lower your voices. We do not wish to alert the enemy to our presence due to hobbit curiosity."
So caught up in the conversation, Ron was not paying attention to his own feet. Dragging the ground, one foot kicked a small stone far ahead of them out from under the protection of their invisible cloak. The rock clattered as it tumbled down the path. Up ahead of them, Legolas spun around looking for the source of the noise. Harry, Ron, and Hermione froze. That keen elven gaze seemed to pierce their invisible shield. No one dared even breathe.