Angels and Rings; the Fellowship
Yes, I've finally jumped off the deep end. LotR/PotO cross. From 'Roses Blooming'.
Disclaimer; I don't own Lord of the Rings, or Phantom of the Opera, but I can claim Arabelle, Charles and Jill.
Over the Rainbow
Arabelle smiled, stretching beneath the blankets. She was happy. Today, she, Charles their parents, and Jillianna were going on a picnic in the woods around their home. She couldn't wait.
Standing, she moved quickly around her room, switching her nightgown to her day shift, and hooking her corset. Over that she pulled on her dress, hooked the hooks, and hurried to the bathroom to comb out her hair, and ready herself for the day.
She was downstairs, and had breakfast cooking by the time Erik and Christine came downstairs. Arabelle hugged them both tightly, smiling.
"Someone certainly is excited today," Erik commented, smiling himself.
Arabelle nodded, her yellow eyes flashing with light and eagerness.
"I cannot wait for the picnic," she admitted, flying back to the table, where she'd set out three place settings, and food. "May I bring along my violin?" Arabelle asked, eyes bright and pleading.
Erik smiled fondly.
"Of course, dearest," he promised, looking lovingly at his sixteen-year-old daughter. "Perhaps you'll play for us?"
"Why else would I bring along my instrument but to play it?" she quipped lightly, taking a bite of her breakfast.
No more than an hour later, the three of them were on their way to get Jillianna for the picnic in the woods.
Despite having outgrown the age years ago, Arabelle skipped down the roads like a schoolgirl under the spell of her first crush, Charles close at her side.
"Such energy," he marveled, sighing.
Christine took his hand.
"She's still a child, after all," she reminded him. They both are.
Erik nodded, tenderly squeezing his wife's hand.
When Jillianna opened her door to see Arabelle, she beamed, her eyes lighting up instantly.
"Are you ready, Jill?" Arabelle asked, her own eyes glowing with excitement.
The blond teen nodded, settling her light cloak around her shoulders.
"I'm eager to thee your woodth again, Arabelle," Jillianna admitted as they neared the path into the trees that surrounded her friend's house.
Within the hour, they were deep enough in the woods that the house was no longer visible. In the clearing they came across, Erik and Christine set up the picnic, while the girls, sixteen and eighteen, and Charles laughed and ran about like small children. It was wonderful.
After they ate, Arabelle played her violin. She moved the bow over the strings with a flourish, showing her skill. Twelve years of practice had made her quite accomplished, and she especially loved lively, upbeat tunes.
The four of them were out until sundown, laughing in the field. When they finally made to return home, the fading sunlight caught the grass, and the leaves, and they sparkled, as though covered with dew.
"Beautiful," Erik breathed, looking around in amazement. The others were also caught off guard by the shimmering trees and grass.
"Maybe it's magic," Arabelle joked.
"Yeah!" Charles agreed, wide-eyed
"Perhapth it ith," she giggled, joining in on her friends' joke. All three were old enough to know it was just a trick of the light, but there was no harm in pretending every now and again.
Erik wrapped an arm around each teenager, and smiled as they all headed back toward the house.
"You two," he sighed. Jillianna had become a second daughter and third child to him, she was around so much of the time.
The walk back through the woods was pleasant enough, but something tingled in the back of Erik's mind. Something wasn't right. He wasn't sure what, but something was off. Was it just his imagination, or were the trees... denser than before?
And when they walked out of the trees onto a dirt road, he took a deep breath to keep from panicking. He could have sworn this was the right way to go. He knew it was. They'd come out here before.
"I suppose we went the wrong way?" Christine said, laughing nervously.
She knew they'd gone the right way. They had!
"Isn't this just the road that leads into the woods at the end of our street?" Arabelle realized, smiling. "We can follow it home."
With a nonchalant shrug, she started skipping down the road, calling for Charles and Jillianna to join her. The blond smiled, and followed her friends.
When they came out of the woods, at the top of a steep hill, all five of them stopped dead in there tracks.
What they saw was nothing like their home. And as far as any of them knew, there was not a town on Earth that looked like this one.
There were no visible houses, only doors in many small hills, with windows.
Everything was smaller, too. The doors were only to Jillianna's shoulders, and the few people they did see, the only logical explanation for their height was that they were children. But they couldn't have been. Some were, but most were clearly adults.
"Where are we?" Arabelle whispered, withdrawing from the edge of the hill to her father's side. Jillianna joined her, frowning.
"I don't know, dearest," Erik frowned. "Let's find out. Perhaps they can point us to home."
When they passed, the small people looked up, wary and surprised. As the small group approached one, the other little humans stepped back, alarm in their eyes.
"I apologize for interrupting anything," Erik started. "Could you tell us where this is? Or how to get back to Bristol?"
The person behind the small counter looked up at Erik, and in his eyes was fear.
The mask, Erik realized, his heart sinking into his shoes. These people are afraid of me. Again.
Christine stepped forward, noticing the look in the smaller being's eyes, and spoke.
"Please," she said gently. "We need to get home soon. Do you know the way? We've never been here before, and I'm afraid we're lost."
"I don't know about any Bristol place," the small person said, "but the Big folk in this area live in Bree, to the east."
"I'm sorry, where?" Arabelle asked, frowning. "There's no place called 'Bree' in Connecticut. I've looked on every map. Are we in another state or something?"
"State?" the little man behind the stall echoed. "If you mean part of the Shire, you're in the West Farthing, Hobbiton."
Erik's eyes registered confusion behind the mask.
"Hobbiton," the other repeated. "In the Shire. The land of Hobbits."
"Hobbits?" Erik frowned. "Excuse us a moment, please."
He turned to the others and drew them together. Before he could even speak, Arabelle voiced her idea, which had been traveling the same path as his.
"I don't think this is America," she worried.
"No," her father agreed. "That's what I was thinking."
"B-but, where are we?" Jillianna asked, her voice shaking. "What happened in the woodth?"
Arabelle's eyes widened.
"The trees!" she gasped. "Remember when they started sparkling? What if it was magic? Maybe we aren't even in our world! Oh, Papa, what do we do now?"
Erik closed his eyes, and took a slow, deep breath.
"I do not know, dear-heart," he said quietly. "But I promise, I will protect you all. I swear it. I'll see us all home again. Don't you worry."
"I with we knew where we are," Jillianna whispered.
Erik smiled gently, laying a hand on her small shoulder.
"I know, my dear," he calmed. "I know. Everything will be alright, I promise."
"Are you lost?"
The voice was soft, but male, and it came from behind them. Everyone turned to see one of these – hobbits, were they? – standing there, regarding them with gentle curiosity.
He had curling black hair, and large blue eyes. His skin was light, and he smiled slightly.
"Apparently so," Erik sighed, noticing a bit of fear creep across the hobbit's face. It was gone in a moment, though, and was replaced with the slight smile.
"My name's Frodo," the hobbit introduced. "What are your names?"
"I am Erik," Erik replied. "This is my wife, Christine, my son Charles, my daughter Arabelle, and her friend, Jillianna Morgan."
Frodo's smile broadened slightly, and he turned.
"There are extra rooms in my home," he said softly. "You may all stay there, if you like. Perhaps Gandalf can help you."
"Who is Gandalf?" Arabelle asked, looking at Frodo.
"A wizard," the hobbit replied. "He's a friend of mine. He'll be here in a day or two."
"A wizard..." Arabelle echoed, amazement in her voice as she shared a look with Jillianna and her brother. "How exciting! Will you tell us about him?"
Arabelle's eyes were glittering with excitement, and she listened intently to Frodo's words.
"...My uncle won't mind your presence, I assure you," he was saying. "In fact, I imagine Uncle Bilbo will be pleased to have Big Folk in our hobbit hole.
"Big Folk?" Charles echoed in confusion.
"Humans," he explained. "Usually, humans don't come here. It's been many years since any Big Folk besides Gandalf have come to the Shire. I hope you'll like it here."
"It is beautiful," Christine agreed, her eyes turning to the surrounding hills.
Erik had to admit, she was right. The surrounding country, with rolling green hills and a few scattered trees was like nothing he'd ever seen before. This Shire place was so lovely.
And there was hope! The little hobbit Frodo had said his wizard friend might be able to help them return home.
Erik wanted to go home. Though he agreed that this place looked like Paradise, there was something beneath the surface, some dark horror waiting to be revealed to them. He didn't like it. It set the hairs at the back of his neck on end, and his senses to high alert.
The instinct to protect his family and Arabelle's friend intensified by the minute.
Chapter one! I hope you all like this. I know it's kind of a stretch, but, oh well. Review, please!