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Reinette Elise Oswald

365 views · last seen in Middle Earth
a character in “A New Life: Middle Earth”, as played by GoriexGorie

Description




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ImageFull Name:
Reinette Elise Oswald

Nicknames and Aliases:
Reinette
Rei

Gender:
Female

Age:
22

Ethnicity/Race:
Caucasian
25% Irish || 25% German || 50% English

Sexual Orientation:
Heterosexual

Species:
Human

Place Of Origin:
Eastville, Virginia

Birth Date:
July 30th, 1991




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Hair Color:
A true platinum blonde - one that, in the right lighting, appears almost white

Eye Color:
Amber

Height:
5'4

Weight:
125 lbs.

Description:
Reinette is what some might consider to be a classic beauty, although obviously styled in some very non-traditional ways. Her appearance is malleable - she can adapt to many different styles when necessity calls, and does so quite willingly in almost every situation. The most obvious thing about her, and the first thing people always tend to notice, is her hair. The nearly hip-length hair is quite healthy for something so long, and Reinette takes pride in it, making sure to care for her platinum locks carefully. She can be found many times in various types of up-dos, and half-up half-down styles, although letting her mane free is her primary choice. She can usually be found wearing at least basic makeup, and has smooth pale skin to compliment her overall appearance. Her face is "her own", as she would say, with a slightly defined chin and slightly sharper cheek bones than would be considered "normal". Her body shape is definitely that of a womanly sort, but she isn't super well-endowed in the bust department. Instead, she has a relatively average figure - curvy, up to a point. As for her fashion sense, Reinette is very fond of frills but is adaptable in clothing choice. She wears anything from tight dresses to baggy pants, though she prefers to be well-dressed most of the time. She believes the saying "Diamonds are a girls best friend" is accurate, at least in her case - she blames the many years of sequined dance costumes she wore as a child for her love of all things sparkly. Due to the many years spent dressed in tutus, leotards, and scratchy costume materials, Reinette can be comfortable in almost anything. She is comfortable in her body, and is comfortable in any coverage of clothing. She can usually be seen smiling, whether its because of something someone said or did, or just due to her own thoughts. Her fingers are slim and long - those of a piano players - with nails that are usually well taken care of. If they aren't designed or painted, they are relatively close cut and clean. Reinette's arms are toned, but her real strength lies instead in her legs and core - symptoms of the time she spends at the gym.




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Personality:
Reinette is an overall happy person, at least for most of her life. Up until her parents passed, she loved to be around people... But that changed all too quickly. After her parents passed, she pulled into herself - effectively cutting out each and every person who had been there her whole life, including her Grandparents. It goes without saying that she isn’t someone who is happy all the time – she experiences the same range of emotions as the average person. She tends to lead more towards the happy end of the spectrum, and considers herself more optimistic than anything - at least, that was the Reinette of yester-year. In the end, she is the type of person who would be there for you at your worst time in your life without a second thought... Even though she's cut out the people who would do the same for her. In her mind, she just wants a fresh start. She wants to forget who Reinette Oswald is, because Reinette Oswald has been hurt more than some can imagine...
Hobbies:
Going to the gym.
Getting lost in her imagination.
Thinking about Tolkien spin-offs.
Reading alone in her room.

Habits:
Twirling her hair when she's nervous.

Oddities:
She truly believes in ghosts, and has a hard time going into very old places at night when she "has a feeling" about them.

Likes/Loves:
  • The World of Tolkien
  • Reading
  • The Cello
  • Handmade Birthday Cards
  • Classical Music
  • Singing
  • Silent Films
  • Theatre
  • Aquariums
  • Thunderstorms
  • Quiz Apps
  • The Civil Wars
  • Smiles From Strangers
  • Hot Tea
  • British Comedy
  • Elvis
Dislikes/Hates:
  • Cars
  • Tanning
  • The News
  • Trampolines
  • American Idol
  • Most Bugs
  • The sound of clocks
  • Extreme, Unsecured Heights
  • People Who Chew With Their Mouth Open
  • The Feeling One Gets Right Before Sneezing
  • Being alone
  • Freefalling
  • Squirrels
  • Senseless Arguments
  • Glee
  • Snowstorms




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History:
Reinette grew up and was raised in a small town, one where nothing much ever happened. She was close with her family, being the only child. As a youngster, she danced at the local dance studio, right up until she was accepted to the local community college - Eastern Shore.

Her life through schooling was rather uneventful. Her whole life, for that matter, was uneventful. Reinette was a pretty popular girl, having friends of all sorts of ages and backgrounds. Even so, she felt that she was slightly out of place, as if every piece of her life was off by just an inch. She was someone who would get lost in the woods, books... anything where her imagination would just run rampant. In middle school, she discovered the world of Tolkien, becoming almost obsessed with the books, and eventually the movies. It was this that made her determined to write books of her own one day, helping pave the way for her chosen major in college: English.

But some stories, simple as they are, are rocked with tragedy. That's how all great stories come to pass, anyway. And Reinette's tragedy was simple, but vast. On Christmas Eve, her parents went out for a party. She decided to stay home, wrapped up in re-reading the Tolkien masterpieces once again. She fell asleep with "The Two Towers" clasped tightly in her right hand. The next morning she woke to an empty house. It felt colder than usual, empty. She searched for her parents, and when they weren't present, she called them multiple times. On the tenth time, she got panicked. She called her aunts, grandparents... anybody who might have seen them. One final attempt to call her mother was cut short when she heard three sharp knocks at the door.

Her parents were dead.

Reinette doesn't remember passing out at the news. But when she awoke, reality came flooding back to her. And if was as if her life had been pressed into fast forward, while she remained in slow motion. She was moving in with her Grandparents. She was taking time off of school. She was ignorming the people who wanted to help. She just wanted to be alone...

One fateful night, she made a wish on a shooting star. A wish to be anywhere but where she was now. To be anybody but Reinette Oswald...

Sometimes, great stories start out simple. Sometimes, they start with Reinette.


Theme Song(s):
The Violet Hour - The Civil Wars
In This Shirt - The Irrepressibles




Face Claim:
Kerli Koiv

So begins...

Reinette Elise Oswald's Story

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Character Portrait: Dúlinnor Character Portrait: Reinette Elise Oswald
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Tick. Tick. Tick. Tick. Tick.

The sound of the Grandfather clock - perched steady in the front hall - was driving Reinette absolutely mad. There was something about the incessant ticking, the way it seemed to fill the silence in the house entirely, that Reinette couldn't stand.

It reminded her of reality. She hated it.

Huffing, the blonde stood from her spot in the living room, a copy of 'The Hobbit' clutched rather dramatically in her hand. She wound through the front hall, shooting the clock a glare, before climbing the old wooden stairs to the landing outside of her bedroom. She wanted nothing but peace and quiet. She wanted nothing more than to get lost in her books, as she did every night.

Slipping inside her room - careful not to wake her Grandmother and Grandfather - she made her way to the window seats that angled around her bay window. The home she shared with her grandparents was an old Victorian, and her bedroom was on the second story, inside of the turret that was so iconic of Victorian homes.

Tucking her leg underneath her, Reinette quickly got comfortable. The pillows were so worn and old, but the many hours she had spent with them made her quite fond of their worn-in raggedness.

She continued to read there, not one ticking sound to be heard. She lost herself in the pages, her imagination wild. The lives everyone within the pages lead were much more interesting than her own. They had meaning... They had adventure.

And they weren't Reinette Oswald.

She didn't realize she had been crying until a tear splashed down the page, onto the words. Her right hand found its way to her face, wiping clear the tears that had spilled over. She was no longer in a mood to read, and she dog-eared the well-loved classic, before placing it on her bed.

Her attention turned at once to the world outside her window. The dark night was lit by a million tiny lights, each one burning brightly. The stars that night were entirely brilliant, full of a glow that Reinette had never seen before.

Soon, something caught her eye. A shooting star made its way across her vision, and as she blinked, one final tear fell to her cheek, only to roll off and fall to the carpet below.

In that moment, she wished for the chance to start over again. 'I want to start fresh. I want to put all of this behind me...'

Her eyes searched the skies for any lingering comets or shooting stars. None were to be seen that night; she was thankful for the one she had been able to witness.

Eventually, Reinette's eyes grew tired, and she crawled into bed. Her dreams were gray; a world full of dead things, mute colors, and hushed voices.

x ~ x ~ x ~ x ~ x


In her dream, she walked the border of the Earth, looking below into the nothingness. It was as if the Earth had just ended, dropping off into black. She wondered what lay below.

She debated the choices. She could jump and die, ending the gray that was this reality. Or she could jump, and find something more substantial. The only other option was to do nothing, and she couldn't bear that thought. So she jumped, tumbling into blackness, before reemerging into color and life.

x ~ x ~ x ~ x ~ x


Reinette woke with a start, the smell of dirt filling her nostrils. She scrambled to a sitting position, dazed as she tried to gather her wits. Light was streaming in from all different directions, forcing the young woman to squint her eyes or risk being blinded. Crouching slightly, she realized she was in a forest, and--

Wait. "Wha...?" Her voice cracked, catching in her throat.

What the hell was going on?

She brushed the dead leaves from her hair as she quickly rushed to stand up. Dizzy from the quick rush of blood, she steadied herself against a nearby tree, before yelping in surprise once more. Why was there a tree in her room? Why was her room outside?

"W-Whats...?" she stuttered, wrapping her arms around herself. She had fallen asleep the night before wearing her clothes from the day - a pair of skinny black jeans, a form fitting dark blue quarter-sleeved top, some for-style-only "combat" boots, and a long black cardigan. Various leaves were sticking to her in various places, most of which included her hair. She tried batting them out as best as she could, successful in removing some of the leaves, but not all.

She tentatively reached out to touch the tree once more, lightly brushing her finger tips against it before really pushing on it. The tree didn't budge, so she rested some of her weight against it, finally taking the chance to take in her surroundings.

It looked nothing like Virginia... The trees were slightly wrong, the grass was slightly wrong... The air didn't smell the same. She tried taking in more of the area around her, her mind racing. What was going on? How did she get here? Had she been kidnapped?

She gingerly stepped a bit further away from the tree, truly taking in her surroundings. She checked herself all over - all 10 fingers, 10 toes, two hands, two feet, two arms, two legs, head, hair, body... She was all there.

But where was 'there', anyway?

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Character Portrait: Dúlinnor Character Portrait: Reinette Elise Oswald
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He hated having to go off on his own. Dúlinnor could not say that in this particular instance that he minded. His brother, Aglaron, and he had gotten into an argument. Again. He suspected that it had something to do with the fact that they'd been forced together for such a long stretch of time. He loved his brother and he always would. However, sometimes the older Elf could be a bit..much. The younger Elf refused to truly argue with his brother though Aglaron was persistent. Even now, Dúlinnor could not recall why his brother had gotten angry with him.

Only once he'd finally had enough of his brother's yelling did Dúlinnor leave the group, deciding it was best if he did not stay. He could not remain. The other Wardens would worry though would not send anyone after him until the following night. Something that he was glad of. The Elf had spent the remainder of his day patrolling the border, remaining unseen and silent. He'd not come across anything..not that they had in the past week. They'd had a few skirmishes throughout their stay out on the border though as their time to leave neared everything seemed to calm.

He had remained away from the group through the night. Dúlinnor had finally come to one of the farther trees and had stayed there throughout the night. He'd not truly slept, trying to stay alert in case anything were to happen into the area. He was at least feeling a bit better after having been away from Aglaron. He could only hope that the older Elf would be in a better mood by the time he returned.

Dúlinnor slowly rose from his spot high in the tree, looking around. Nothing. He allowed himself to relax slightly. They had only until the following morning before they would be heading back to Caras Galadhon. He'd been about to leave when suddenly something drew his attention. The Elf froze, trying to listen. He could have sworn that he'd heard someone speak. He turned his head in the direction, trying to see. After a few short moments had passed, Dúlinnor gave up. He had to investigate.

He moved down the tree quickly and only dropped to the ground once he was near the last branch. He rose, pulling his bow from his back. Heading in the direction that he was certain the sounds had come from, Dúlinnor moved silently and quickly. It did not take him very long to find what..no..who had been causing the sounds. The Elf remained hidden from the woman. He was eyeing her closely, trying to figure out why the, quite obvious Mortal, was in the woods.

She was suddenly trying to get leaves from her hair though was not able to remove them all. He watched her curiously as she reached out, touching one of the trees. To the Elf, this woman was acting quite strangely. Of course, he'd not been around too many Mortals before. It was only a few moments later that she was moving from the tree, looking about. Dúlinnor suspected that she was taking in her surroundings.

The Elf could not understand why she seemed..almost confused about where she was. Regardless, he could not allow her to continue through the woods. Slowly, he notched an arrow. He then froze for a moment, waiting. He was unsure how long he waited before he saw a chance. Her back was turned to him. Dúlinnor silently moved out from his spot, moving closer to her. He stopped only once he was rather close. Raising his bow, arrow at the ready. He then quickly moved to the side, getting in her sight.

The arrow was threateningly close to her face. The Elf's face was controlled as he eyed her. "What business do you have in Lórien, Mortal?" He asked her suddenly, forgetting for a moment that most Mortals of the world did not speak Elvish. He eyed her as he waited for her to speak. She was dressed strangely yet..he found himself intrigued. Suddenly, it dawned on him that she no doubt had no clue what he'd asked her. He had not spoken Westron in some time. "What business do you have in Lórien, Mortal?" He kept the arrow near her for a moment longer before lowering it slowly. He could not see her as being a threat.

"Who are you?" He asked suddenly, his voice a bit kinder than before. He refused to put away his weapon. At least until he knew for certain that she was not there for some dark reason. He allowed her time to speak before he suddenly moved quickly, putting his weapon up. He suspected that perhaps it would be easier if he was not holding onto the bow. "I am Dúlinnor, a ward of Lórien." He paused for a moment, circling her slightly, looking around. "You are alone?" He asked, though it was fairly obvious that she was. He turned his gaze back to her, watching her every movement.

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'Breathe in. Breathe out...'

The air entering her lungs was slightly damp, the morning dew on some of the leaves still apparent. Reinette stood in the middle of a forest, one she had no idea how she got into.

She pinched her arm slightly, attempting to wake herself up. But the pain in her arm faded, and she still stood in the same spot.

A sound behind her brought her attention to a grove of trees and bushes, but nothing was there when she turned. Her eyes searched briefly, before a movement caught her attention from the side. Her head turned, and she let out a yelp as she saw the sharp end of what appeared to be a weapon of some kind pointed right at her.

Reinette tried to back up, her hands shooting up in a half-raised sort of surrender. But her back came in contact with the tree she had previously pushed against, effectively stopping her where she stood.

Staring her down was a man dressed in some sort of gear - the clothing he wore was entirely foreign to her, and she wondered if he was some sort of forestry worker that she had never seen before. Maybe he was part of the Parks and Recreation system? She would have laughed at the thought if she wasn't being basically gunned down by this individual.

But the sounds that came from his mouth sounded nothing like any language she had heard spoken before in her small town in Virginia.

Reinette didn't know what to say. She felt frozen in her spot - no words were forming, no thoughts about how she was supposed to talk her way out of this dangerous situation. Her eyes betrayed her feelings of absolutely confusion, loss, and defeat - there was no where for her to run that he wouldn't be able to shoot her from... And it was apparent now that he had a bow trained inches from her face.

Her breath caught in her throat.

"What business do you have in Lórien, Mortal?"

Ah, English! Finally! She sort of choked on the air as it rushed back into her lungs, her shoulders slightly sagging forward in relief as the male turned his bow down from her face. The blood started to churn in her veins once more, and finally she could feel the gears turning in her brain. And so the confused face returned to her visage. 'Lórien?' she thought. Why did that sound so familiar?

She didn't have much of a chance to think, let alone answer the man before he was asking her another question. "Who are you?" But the tone of this question was lighter, less fierce. It gave her a feeling that maybe it was okay to answer.

Gathering her courage, she lowered her hands to her sides slowly. "Uh..." she began, awkwardly. What did she say? "I'm... Reinette. Reinette Oswald..."

She told herself that if this were a dream, he would already know who she was...

He spoke up again soon after the last syllable left her lips. "I am Dúlinnor, a ward of Lórien." He began to make a small circle around her; she figured he was sizing her up. She swallowed nervously, before he spoke again. "You are alone?"

She let out a breath, before she nodded in answer. "Yeah, I..." She paused. What did she say? She had no idea how she got there? That would make her seem irresponsible and ditzy at best, and crazy at worst. "I... I'm not sure where I am..." And there it was, out there in the open. She studied the man in front of her some more, before meeting his eyes with her own. The words started to tumble out from her mouth before she could stop them.

"I'm not sure how I got outside. I'm not trying to hurt anyone," she gestured toward his bow, "I'm just trying to figure out what's going on..." She looked up at his face again, studying his features. There was something about him that was also just off, just like the place around her.

But she couldn't quite place her finger on it.

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He watched her, still keeping a bit of a distance between them. However, he was no longer on edge around her. Instead, he found himself rather intrigued by her. "Yeah, I...I... I'm not sure where I am..." Those words that the young woman spoke caused Dúlinnor to suddenly look at her with concern. He said nothing, simply waiting. She soon met his gaze and the Elf held it easily. "I'm not sure how I got outside. I'm not trying to hurt anyone. I'm just trying to figure out what's going on..."

Dúlinnor studied her for a moment, almost as if trying to decide what to do. He knew that returning with this Human would only get him into more trouble. However, Reinette seemed truly lost. He could not simply escort her to the edge of the woods and leave her to fate. It simply wasn't in his nature. "You are in Lothlórien, the Golden Wood. Home to the Lady Galadriel and Lord Celeborn. Surely you have heard of our realm?" He simply could not believe that she did not know of the realm.

"I..would help you, if you would allow me. We will be returning to our..capital in the morning. If anyone would be able to help you, it would be our Lady." He paused suddenly, his head turning to the side as if he'd heard something. After a short moment he turned his attention back to Reinette. "Come. We should go. It is not wise to remain here."

The Elf moved suddenly, turning his back to the Mortal woman. He only hoped that she would follow. His stride was fairly quick. He was running behind and they would likely not return to the main camp until it was a bit later in the evening. It was quite a trek. He had no idea how his fellow Elves would react.

He led the way, making sure to keep an eye out for anything out of the ordinary. They did not encounter anything and for that, Dúlinnor was glad. He'd spoken with the woman as they walked, finding that he rather enjoyed her company. However, he was quick to push such a though from his mind.

They traveled for some time before Dúlinnor could feel eyes on them. No doubt a few of the other Wardens were above them, watching. Still, he continued walking. "Stay close." He said, softly to the woman. After a few steps more, they were within the camp. There were no tents upon the ground, only small wooden structures above, in the trees. On the ground were a few fire pits, the fires already beginning to be lit. Horses were in a nearby pen, being fed and watered. The few Wardens that were on the ground seemed to pay them no mind.

Dúlinnor had taken only a few steps within the camp when Aglaron suddenly appeared. The older Elf looked much like Dúlinnor though older and his hair was much fairer in color. The older Elf shoved Dúlinnor up against a nearby tree, holding him against it with his arm against his younger brother's throat. It was easy to see that the older Elf was not pleased to see that his little brother had returned with a Human.

"You leave..going off on your off and then suddenly come back with her? You are more foolish than I thought!" He said, his face getting closer to the younger Elf's. Dúlinnor did not seemed bothered at all by his brother's actions. "I had no choice, Aglaron. She's lost and I've promised to aid her. She needs to see the Lady."

His words did not seem to help. Dúlinnor was glad that Reinette could not understand what was being said. Suddenly, before either of the brothers could say anything, Haldir appeared. He pulled Aglaron off of Dúlinnor, putting distance between them. Aglaron suddenly threw a hand in defeat, walking off with one of the other wardens. It was only then that Dúlinnor explained to Haldir what was going on. After a few more moments, it was decided that the woman could stay so long as Dúlinnor kept an eye on her. The Elf agreed, watching as they were left alone once again.

Dúlinnor turned to Reinette, offering her a small smile. "It has been decided that you may stay and travel with us in the morning to see the Lady. However, I am to keep an eye on you to make sure that you mean no ill will." He paused, watching her. He did not bring up the interaction that had occurred between Aglaron and himself. He somehow suspected that the woman would bring it up if she wished to know what had been said. "Would you like something to eat?" He asked softly. The evening meal should be finished soon and then he would need to show her where she would be sleeping for the evening.

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"You are in Lothlórien, the Golden Wood. Home to the Lady Galadriel and Lord Celeborn. Surely you have heard of our realm?"

And then, the gears in her head began turning once more. Lady Galadriel? Lord Celeborn? Denial hit her even before her brain had a chance to put two and two together. But she didn't have much time to think on it anyway, as Dúlinnor began to speak once more. ""I... would help you, if you would allow me. We will be returning to our... capital in the morning. If anyone would be able to help you, it would be our Lady." His voice cut out almost as quickly as it had cut in, and it left Reinette with a feeling of almost being winded. She felt her form sag against the tree she had been using for support.

Dúlinnor seemed to be listening to something, before he quickly looked back at Reinette. "Come. We should go. It is not wise to remain here."

Reinette could feel the adrenaline seeping into her veins as Dúlinnor began to walk ahead of her. His legs were long, and it was then that she truly realized just how tall he actually was. He towered over her, well over a foot taller than she stood. Every so often, she would have to take an extra few steps just to keep up with him. Eventually, his place slowed slightly, as they began to talk; finally, she was able to truly keep up pace with him.

As they walked and talked, she would pull the remaining leaves from her hair. Only then did she realize that they weren't dead, but alive... It unnerved her a bit, denial still persistent in her brain.

She would thank him numerous times for helping her throughout their trek - somehow, she felt that he only meant well towards her. She had this overwhelming feeling that she could trust him, but she couldn't put her finger on why she felt that way. Maybe it was because he was going out of his way to help her... She figured that if he meant her any harm, he could have hurt her whenever he pleased - even right when they first met - because it was clear that she had no idea where she was anyway.

...But that wasn't really true, then, was it? Galadriel. Celeborn. Lothlórien. Those places weren't real, or at least they weren't supposed to be. They were fictitious characters and places in a series of books she spent too much time reading. They were places and people she wished were real.

It was a fact that humans, faced with situations of the utmost surprise, tend to react by non-reaction. Even survivors of the Costa Concordia disaster - something Reinette had kept up with in the news - reacted by non-reaction, even when they saw water pouring into the hallways of the cruise liner. They pretended that nothing had changed, that nothing was wrong - that their ship wasn't sinking, and they weren't facing the worlds biggest maritime disaster since the Titanic.

Reinette was under that same spell. Of course, she was just in a forest walking and talking with someone she had only recently met - so of course, she wasn't on a sinking ship. But her brain was sort of that sinking ship, the denial of before unraveling in her mind as she began to put the pieces together. And the rush of adrenaline from before was only helping that ship sink faster.

Dúlinnor's voice spoke up once more, softly but urgent. "Stay close." She nodded, moving closer to him than she had been before, her gaze dancing about as they walked into a small clearing. A few fire pits sat towards the middle, people milling about, taking care of horses.

Reinette was about to ask him something - it wasn't really important, just something to break the silence - when Dúlinnor was pushed roughly up against a nearby tree by someone who was almost an exact replica of the man Reinette had been walking with for only-God-knows how long. This male had slightly longer hair than her companion, and his hair was slightly fairer as well. She figured they were related, somehow.

The other male seemed angry, and Reinette got the immediately feeling it was because of her. She looked between the two, eyes wide as the new one spoke. She couldn't understand a thing that was being said, though the gears continued to turn in her head. It wasn't that the sounds they made were entirely foreign to her - she had heard them at various times before in her life - but she hadn't made the connection yet.

Gruff words were exchanged by the now-apparent older male towards Dúlinnor, who spoke calmly in response, even with the arm pressed against his throat. Reinette wondered briefly if interactions like this between the two were a normal occurrence.

But before she could even react, another male appeared. His hair was golden, and rivaled her own in color. His almost appeared silver, and the air about him was one of command. He pulled the two apart, and the older one left in a huff. Reinette turned a questioning eye to Dúlinnor, who spoke with the other male. Eventually, even he left, which left Dúlinnor and Reinette as they had been before the encounter had taken place.

She had wrapped her arms around herself, her eyes taking in the full picture of everything before her. There was a sinking feeling in her stomach, and she knew why. She couldn't bring herself to voice it, for that would make it reality. That would make it true...

That would mean that she was in a place that shouldn't exist, but any stretch of the imagination. Some place that shouldn't exist because of the laws of physics - or some shit like that - said it shouldn't. This place wasn't supposed to be real. She wasn't supposed to be there. She would have pinched herself again, if she was sure it would have done anything other than give herself a small welt.

Her eyes turned back to Dúlinnor as he spoke, a voice that was now becoming familiar to her helping to calm her mind.

"It has been decided that you may stay and travel with us in the morning to see the Lady. However, I am to keep an eye on you to make sure that you mean no ill will." A small smile was offered to her at those words.

She didn't speak for a moment, thinking to herself. Then she spoke, "I... I don't know how to thank you. All of this is just so unreal..." Her eyes traveled around her, taking in the encampments up in the trees. None of this should have existed, and yet here it all was. She realized that Dúlinnor was speaking to her again, and she trained her attention on him.

"Would you like something to eat?"

She nodded, almost dazed. She ran her fingers up through her scalp, untangling some of the hair as she brushed her fingers through it. What was she supposed to do?

Before she could stop herself, she was speaking to him again. "I'm not sure how any of this is possible." A slight laugh escaped her lips, but it was obvious it wasn't a laugh of joy... rather, it was a laugh of nervous desperation. "None of this is supposed to exist..."

Her mental defenses against the sheer reality of the situation were crumbling now, and she could feel a tremor run through her being. "This is supposed to be some high-fantasy novel right? This is supposed to be fictional..." Her eyes turned away from him then, studying the space behind him. "Someone's going to come out from behind one of these trees now and tell me I'm on Punk'd or Candid Camera or some stupid Japanese game-show, right?" She was sure she was blabbering. She knew she probably didn't make any sense to him, because if all of this was real then she would be sounding like the crazy one to him.

"Please. You have to tell me..." She stepped closer to him then, the absolute confusion totally evident in her eyes.

"...Is this Middle Earth?"

But her question needed no answer, for she already knew. It was so obvious, and she had been denying it since the very beginning.

This was Middle Earth. This forest was undying, and the reason she was even allowed inside was because she had no evil in her heart. There was books written about this stuff - books she had spent the last few months practically (and metaphorically) living inside. Galadriel. Celeborn. Lothlórien. All of this stuff was basic knowledge to any Tolkien fan.

And apparently, all of this stuff was real.

It was then that her brain decided it was too overwhelmed with the knowledge, too overwhelmed with the influx of sensations and reality. It needed a break, needed to sink. Just like the Costa Concordia - just like the non-reaction of the Titanic passengers. She needed to rest, needed to recuperate and gain some sense. And while she didn't want to, her body did. And so it was lights out - everything went black. Just like when she found out her parents were dead.

Her body slumped forward as she blacked out. In her subconscious, she wondered if she would wake up in her bed when it was all said and done, but she knew that it wasn't the case.

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He was glad that she at least seemed to want to eat. He suspected that she'd not had anything that day and he was uncertain of when last she ate. He began leading her in the direction that one of the larger fire pits were at. However, within a short moment Reinette was speaking to him again. "I'm not sure how any of this is possible. None of this is supposed to exist..." Her words caused the Elf to glance in her direction. Slight confusion crossed his features. He stopped, giving the young Mortal his full attention.

Reinette continued speaking though to Dúlinnor it seemed that she was more talking to herself at the moment. However, he continued to listen to her. She lost him rather quickly, though. He had no idea what she was talking about. The confusion that had been on his face was still present. The Elf simply remained silent, continuing to watch her closely. It was clear to him that she was confused and it was starting to worry him. "Please. You have to tell me..." Reinette said, moving closer to Dúlinnor. He did not move from her. Instead, he simply allowed himself to look down at her. "...Is this Middle Earth?"

"Yes. Of course this is Middle Earth." He paused, his head tilting slightly. "Where else would you be?" Reinette did not answer him. Dúlinnor was truly beginning to worry for her now. It was almost as if learning that she was in Middle Earth was something that she'd not expected. "Lady Reinette?" Dúlinnor said, trying to gain her attention. A moment later, however, the young woman's body went forward.

Dúlinnor reacted immediately, catching her limp form before she could harm herself. He then gently laid her upon the ground, trying to see what had happened. His brother suddenly appeared. "Mortals are weak, little brother. I do not see why you would waste your time with any." Dúlinnor ignored the older Elf for a moment. It soon became clear to him that Reinette had simply fainted. "What does it matter if I spend my time trying to help her? She clearly needs help. At least until the Lady sees her. What harm will that do?"

Aglaron simply shook his head. "Let us hope that will be the end of this. Mother and Father would not be happy to find you spending so much time with a Mortal." Dúlinnor simply chose to ignore his brother's last comment. Instead, he continued speaking. "Will you at least help me to get her up to our flat? She needs to rest."

It was clear that his brother did not want to help but finally agreed. "And I'm supposed to stay where tonight? Certainly not with her." Dúlinnor laughed at his brother's comment. "Don't worry about it. I'm sure one of the other's have extra room. Let's get the Mortal off the ground."

It was not like Aglaron to be so kind all of a sudden. He was even suggesting that he'd be able to easily find somewhere else to sleep for the night. Together, the two brothers rose. Dúlinnor then leaned down, scooping Reinette up bridal style. He kept the young woman close, making sure that she would not fall. Aglaron led the way towards their small flat that they'd been sharing will they'd been on patrol. Together, they were able to easily get her into the tree and onto one of the beds.

Only once she was there, tucked in, did Aglaron turn to leave. "Thank you, brother." Dúlinnor said gratefully. Aglaron shook his head, a small smile on his face. "I'll bring you something to eat. You are supposed to be watching our guest, after all." Dúlinnor watched as the older Elf left, heading back down the tree and joining the others. Now alone with Reinette, Dúlinnor glanced to her.

He hoped that she would be okay once she awoke. The Elf made his way to the other bed, laying down upon it so that he could simply rest. He had to admit that he was glad to be in an actual bed. Though he didn't mind sleeping up in a tree, it certainly was a bit more tiring. Aglaron appeared a short time later with some food and sat it off to the side. Dúlinnor thanked his brother and soon he and Reinette were alone again.

Dúlinnor got up then, grabbing one of the small plates and exited out onto the small deck. He slowly began eating. He was surprised that his brother had brought food for Reinette as well. He would have to make sure to truly thank the older man later on. Now, looking down below, it was easy to see that most everyone else was enjoying their meal. It did not take him long to finish his own and then headed back into the flat. He placed the now empty plate back down and glanced to the woman once again.

He would allow her to wake on her own though he would be there when she did. He made his way back to the empty bed, laying down on his back once again. He finally allowed his mind to wander, allowing himself to finally get some rest. His eyes remained opened and his breathing became slower, more deeper. He hoped that should Reinette awaken that she would at least eat. He suspected that when she did wake that he would need to speak to her of what she'd been speaking of earlier before she'd fainted.

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~ - ~ - ~ D ~ R ~ E ~ A ~ M ~ - ~ - ~ S ~ E ~ Q ~ U ~ E ~ N ~ C ~ E ~ - ~ - ~


"Dad, Mom... I'll be fine. You guys don't have to worry about me, just go have fun at the party." Reinette looked between her parents, who were standing on the threshold to their front door, smiling at their only daughter. Somewhere in the back of her head, Reinette knew she was dreaming. But she couldn't bear the thought, aching to spend some more time with her parents.

She'd had this dream too many times.

She watched their backs turn, their smiles seeming to reflect toward her from all angles, everywhere in the room at once and yet nowhere at all. And they disappeared through the door. She turned, feeling as if she were walking in slow motion, and made her way up the stairs to her bedroom. Her record player was spinning, bumping over the last rivet in the record and bouncing back one more rivet, pops and cracks echoing throughout the house.

Her fingers picked up the needle, and placed it in the middle of the record, a beautiful twangy guitar wailing out. The song soon ended, moving onto one more quiet, more naked. She watched out the window as her parents drove off, the lyrics pushing into her soul and tearing her heart out. She whispered the lyrics along with the beautiful voices that seemed to echo throughout her house.

'It's not your eyes, it's not what you say. It's not your laughter that gives you away. You're just lonely. You've been lonely, too long...

You've held your head up, you've fought the fight. You bear the scars. You've done your time. Listen to me. You've been lonely, too long...

Let me in the wall you've built around, and we can light a match and burn them down. And let me hold your hand and dance 'round and 'round the flames. In front of us, Dust to dust...'

She pulled away from the window, almost floating down the stairs to the front door. And she could hear a voice around her. It was her father; he was laughing. She shouted out to him, throwing open the front door and running out into the night. Collapsing in the yard, she could feel the air whipping against her face. "Dad! Mom! Come back!" She shouted, her voice being pulled from her throat and tossed to the wind before she could even hear herself. But a voice, booming, deafening, seemed to fill her ears. It was her fathers, and she could hear the smile in his words.

"Don't worry, Reinette. You're not alone. You'll never be alone, not ever again. You're not alone now... So wake up... Wake up!"


~ - ~ - ~ E ~ N ~ D ~ - ~ - ~ D ~ R ~ E ~ A ~ M ~ - ~ - ~ S ~ E ~ Q ~ U ~ E ~ N ~ C ~ E ~ - ~ - ~


She could feel the difference between the ground and the apparent bed she was laying on right away. Her eyes opened slowly, taking in her surroundings. The last thing she remembered was being with Dúlinnor out in the woods, so where was she now? She sat up slowly, gazing around herself. A conclusion was drawn that she was in a flat of some sort, probably one of the small buildings in the trees she had briefly noticed before.

Sitting up more, she glanced to her side to see another bed nearby, Dúlinnor resting in it. "Dúlinnor?" she asked tenatively, careful not to surprise him with her sudden words.

When she knew that he was awake and listening, she began to speak again. "I'm sorry about earlier. How long was I out for?" After his answer, she nodded and looked in front of her, pulling her legs in to her chest and wrapping her arms around them. Resting her head on her knees, she closed her eyes again, letting out a sigh.

So this was it then? Her reality was that she was currently in Lothlórien, some place that she knew plenty of people would kill to find out was real. She was in Middle Earth, not her normal "Earth". A place that wasn't supposed to be real, was real. She would have laughed, but she kept quiet.

"You know," she said again after a moment, "there are plenty of people where I'm from that would die if they knew where I was..." She frowned after a moment. "But I guess they wouldn't really die to be in my position."

A sigh escaped her lips and she turned to face him, her expression relatively unreadable. "I guess I'll start over, then..." She paused, before speaking once more. "My name is Reinette. Reinette Elise Oswald. I'm 22..." She glanced over at Dúlinnor, and smiled. "I bet you anything you're well over a thousand years older than me."

She laughed slightly, before it seemed to catch in her throat. There was a long pause, before she spoke again. "Um... Both of my parents are deceased. I lost them both together." She had to stop talking for a long moment, biting back the pain before she could speak again.

"...And, please keep an open mind when I say this next part, but... I'm not from Middle Earth."

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Dúlinnor was aware of his surroundings though his mind had slowly slid into the dream realm that all Elves' minds went to when they 'slept'. He was silent as he rested, giving nearly no indication that he wasn't awake. He was not certain how long he was out before he heard his name called by Reinette. He blinked suddenly, fully coming to awareness quite quickly. He then slowly sat up, turning so that he could watch the woman. He had to admit that he was glad that she was awake.

"I'm sorry about earlier. How long was I out for?" She asked. Dúlinnor was quick to answer her. "Think nothing of it. I am just pleased that you are well." He paused for a moment, looking over her for a short moment as if making sure that she was, in fact, better than earlier. "As for how long you were 'out', I would say at least an hour or so. Long enough for most of the others to begin turning in for the evening." Dúlinnor went silent then, still continuing to watch the young woman. Concern was all over his face though he held back from speaking. He suspected something was wrong..at least from how she was going on earlier before she'd fainted.

So, he did not wish to interrupt her. He did not have to wait too long, however, before Reinette was speaking again. "You know, there are plenty of people where I'm from that would die if they knew where I was...But I guess they wouldn't really die to be in my position." Her words did not make much sense to him. He just simply could not imagine anyone wishing to be in Lothlórien so bad. It was just...odd. The Moratl sighed and then suddenly turned to face him.

"I guess I'll start over, then..." Reinette started. Dúlinnor simply tilted his head as he prepared to listen to her. "My name is Reinette. Reinette Elise Oswald. I'm 22..." The woman was suddenly smiling at him. "I bet you anything you're well over a thousand years older than me." Dúlinnor returned her smile. "You would be correct. I have lived for 2,800 years." He replied to her. To him, she was still a child. That was the difference between Man and Elf. However, he knew that she was no child.

"Um... Both of my parents are deceased. I lost them both together." She said. These words caused Dúlinnor to feel sadness for her. He still had both of his parents though he was no longer close with either of them. Loosing ones parents was never an easy thing. From the way that Reinette was acting, he was willing to bet that she was still mourning their deaths. "I'm sorry." He said honestly. Death was not something that his kind took lightly. It was typically felt heavily any time an Elf passed. Dúlinnor suspected that Mortals were a bit different though he would not ask her.

He forced himself to concentrate back on her words as she spoke again. "...And, please keep an open mind when I say this next part, but... I'm not from Middle Earth." He hesitated for a moment. Not from Middle Earth? How was that even possible. As far as he knew, there was only Middle Earth. There were no other worlds. Instead of voicing such opinions, however, Dúlinnor decided to take a different route. "How is that possible?" He asked her, true intrigue showing. Perhaps she was ill and had no idea what she was talking about.

"If you are not from this world, then were are you from?" As he looked at her, her odd clothing was slowly beginning to make sense. It she was not from their world, then perhaps their clothing was different. Perhaps Reinette was telling the truth. "If that is true, then how did you get to our world?" As far as he was concerned, their worlds were not connected. Otherwise, they would have known about its existence. He thought for a moment as he waited for the young woman to speak. He was more than certain now that she needed to see the Lady Galadriel. She would hopefully be able to help Reinette. If not, he had no idea what would happen to her. "Lady Reinette, I know not if what you say is true. However, I will trust your word. Until you return to your world, I will protect you. No harm will befall you so long as I still draw breath." He paused, offering her a smile. "You must trust in the Lady. She will know what to do."

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"How is that possible? If you are not from this world, then where are you from?" Dúlinnor seemed to take her in more carefully then, and Reinette let him, quietly watching his reaction to her admittance. She played with the end of a lock of her bright blonde hair slowly as she did so, a nervous habit from the past resurfacing. But she continued to stay quiet to let him talk.

If that is true, then how did you get to our world?" Reinette could only shrug, totally at a loss for how such a thing was possible.

She let him mull the information around in his head for a moment longer, watching him as he thought. She took in his form then, slender, clearly much taller than she was even when he was sitting. His hair was long and almost a chestnut color, and it was neat and kept back from his face. It exposed his ears - she couldn't believe that she hadn't seen them before, and moreso she couldn't believe that she hadn't realized exactly what was going on when she first noticed them. Her eyes drifted over his form, before resting on his face again, as he spoke his next words.

"Lady Reinette, I know not if what you say is true. However, I will trust your word. Until you return to your world, I will protect you. No harm will befall you so long as I still draw breath... You must trust in the Lady. She will know what to do."

She couldn't help the almost-blush that seemed to fall over her cheeks. Turning her head slightly in an attempt to hide the reddening, she shook her head slightly. "You know, you don't have to call me 'Lady Reinette'. I know it's polite, but... I don't really think it's totally necessary. I mean...," she turned to look at him then, a totally questioning look on her face. "Am I supposed to call you Lord Dúlinnor? Or Sir Dúlinnor?" She turned her whole body to face him then, a inquisitive look in her eyes. "I honestly don't know any of the practices of your people. What is considered polite? I don't want anyone to think I'm rude..."

She took in all the information as he spoke, nodding as he finished. After a moments pause, the took in some air and let it out slowly. "I'm still trying to get used to all of... this." She gestured around herself at the word 'this'. "I honestly don't know how I got here, to answer your question from before." She shrugged as she spoke, turning her eyes away from him to her hands, which were clasped in her lap.

"I remember falling asleep reading a book, and then just waking up out in the woods. I thought I was still in Virginia--" She caught herself, stopping to explain. "Uh, Virginia is this state where I live..." She didn't think that fully explained it, so she decided to start at the beginning.

"Okay, so this is all probably a little confusing, but bear with me. I am from a place called the 'Milky Way Galaxy'. Inside of my galaxy, there are many planets, all revolving around one Sun. Mine just so happens to be called Earth. Just plain old Earth. On Earth, there are a couple hundred different countries, all jammed onto 7 continents. Most of my planet is water, I think..." She paused, realizing it was probably irrelevant information. "Well, anyway. I live in a country called the United States of America, and the state that I live in is called Virginia..." She offered him a smile, and laughed slightly.

I'm sorry if all of this is overwhelming to you. I guess none of it really matters now, because I'm not there anymore, but here. I just don't know how that is possible. So... your guess is as good as mine." She shrugged, pulling the covers up a little more to take the chill off.

"If you say that the Lady Galadriel will be able to help me... Well, I hope that's the case. I think I'm still sort of in denial about the whole situation..."

She let out a sigh, tilting her head back and closing her eyes to listen to the sounds outside of their flat for a little bit. It was quiet, but she could still hear a few sounds that didn't sound naturally a part of this forest - or, at least, she assumed they weren't. Opening her eyes once more, she turned her head to look at Dúlinnor, and smiled at him. "Thank you..." she began in a quiet voice. "You know, for sticking this out with me. It means a lot to me..."

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"You know, you don't have to call me 'Lady Reinette'. I know it's polite, but... I don't really think it's totally necessary. I mean...,Am I supposed to call you Lord Dúlinnor? Or Sir Dúlinnor?" Reinette asked. Dúlinnor regarded her as she continued to explain that she was unsure of their practices. Of course she was unsure. She was a Mortal, after all. However, the Elf was surprised that she wished to know what was right. He could not honestly say that there were many in the world of Men that would wish to know such a thing.

He turned to her, more fully than before so that he could see her clearly. He supposed that he could refer to the woman as she wished, however, he fully intended to be 'proper' with her when they were with others. "I am no lord and I believe that 'Sir' would be one of your..Human terms. I am more often referred to by my title here or simply my name. So, if we were not well acquainted I would be referred to as 'Warden'. It just depends to whom you are speaking. However, fret not. I shall help you with such things should the need arise."

Dúlinnor was truly surprised that Reinette did not know how she got to Middle Earth. Of course, perhaps it did not matter how she had arrived. At the moment what mattered was that she was there..and needed help. "I remember falling asleep reading a book, and then just waking up out in the woods. I thought I was still in Virginia--" The Elf suddenly tilted his head as she began explaining to him what..Virginia was. "Uh, Virginia is this state where I live..." He did not understand and he was fairly certain that she realized this for she was soon explaining further.

He listened to the Mortal closely, taking in everything that she was saying. He tried to follow what she was saying, but in truth..she was quickly loosing him. Most of the terms that she was using were not ones that they normally used in Middle Earth. He was at least able to gather the basicness of her words. Her voice suddenly drew his focus again, causing the Elf to offer her an apologetic smile. "I'm sorry if all of this is overwhelming to you. I guess none of it really matters now, because I'm not there anymore, but here. I just don't know how that is possible. So... your guess is as good as mine."

Dúlinnor tore his gaze from the young woman for a moment, looking out the entrance to the flat that they were in. He would have preferred to be outside though he'd wanted to make sure that Reinette was alright. Now, though, he found himself not minding so much that he was confined. Of course, he suspected that his brother was keeping an eye on them. Though they fought often, the brothers did care for one another.

He turned his gaze back to Reinette, feeling her eyes on him. "Thank you...You know, for sticking this out with me. It means a lot to me..." The Elf was quick to return her smile. "You are most welcome." He went silent for a moment, simply content with listening to the sounds of the forest and that of the few Elves that were still moving about below them. However, a few short moments later a thought struck the Elf.

Getting up from the small bed, Dúlinnor had gathered the remaining plate of food and handed it over to the woman. "I believe that you still need to eat." He said softly. Only once she had the plate did the Elf leave her, walking out of the flat and remained on the small balcony. He'd been right in assuming that his brother was watching. The older Elf was in one of the nearby flats though was outside as well.

The younger Elf simply shook his head, returning inside the flat. He looked at the young woman. He doubted that she'd realized that the other Elf was watching them. "My brother does not trust you." He said, making sure his back was turned to the entrance. "As is the way that many in this Realm are with Humans. It is not often that Men venture into Lothlórien." He paused, taking a seat on the bed again. "Aglaron is much more..brash in his opinions at times, I'm afraid. I'm actually surprised that he's not taken to being cross with me again."

Dúlinnor went silent, as if he was contemplating something. He did not think that he would have any problems with any of the others. His brother was the only one that worried him. Aglaron tended to act much rougher than he truly was. "We will be leaving at first light. I suggest you rest. It will then be half a days ride before we reach Caras Galadhon."

What he did not tell her yet was that he would have to leave her alone for a hour..right before they were leaving the camp. He still had a job to do..regardless of whether or not he was looking after someone. He did not wish to leave her yet he would not be gone for long. He imagined that she would be fine. He knew that Haldir would most likely get Aglaron to watch the girl. However, he did not know if the older Elf would behave or try to scare her.

He could only hope that nothing went badly. He truly was looking forward to being within the city once again. It had been far too long. He was not used to such long periods of time being on patrol. There would likely be a small feast for those returning. However, Dúlinnor was not planning on going. He never went. He much preferred the quiet of his home. He wondered briefly if Reinette would still be there for the meal. He suspected it would be something that she would enjoy.

"I have one final patrol before we leave." He said suddenly, eyeing the woman. "My brother will be with you until I return." He had no idea how she would feel to hearing this. Yet, she needed to know.

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"You are most welcome." Reinette smiled at Dúlinnor's words, nodding her head once to show her own gratitude. The Elven man went silent for a short while after, seemingly listening to the world around him. Suddenly he stood, grabbing what looked like a plate of food and handing it off to the younger woman.

She took it gratefully, just truly realizing then how hungry she actually was in that moment. "I believe that you still need to eat." Dúlinnor spoke in a soft tone, and Reinette couldn't help the smile in her eyes. She nodded, taking a bite of the meal - it wasn't anything particularly special, but she felt like she hadn't eaten in ages, and so the food tasted absolutely divine to her.

She watched as Dúlinnor took his leave from their flat, her eyes following his form out of the doorway. Turning her attention back to her meal, she quickly ate the food, hoping to not appear without manners for how fast she had eaten. She simply couldn't help it, and quickly finished her meal. She stood after a moment, and placed the empty plate on a nearby table.

Reinette stretched then, raising her arms well above her head and tilting her back backward slightly to crack the bones back into place that had shifted uncomfortably when she passed out. After a moment, she returned to sit on the bed, rather than under the covers. She crossed her legs "Indian-style", as they had called it when she was younger. It was then that Dúlinnor stepped back into the flat.

The words words out of his mouth were, "My brother does not trust you." Reinette looked toward him with a hint of worry in her eyes. Why didn't he trust her? She couldn't help the thought crossing through her mind. She hadn't done anything to lose his brothers trust, but Dúlinnor's next words sort of answered her thought before she could even question it.

"As is the way that many in this Realm are with Humans. It is not often that Men venture into Lothlórien..." There was a slight pause as he moved through the smaller flat, taking a seat on the bed opposite of hers. Reinette turned herself so that she was seated facing him, giving him her full attention. "Aglaron is much more..brash in his opinions at times, I'm afraid. I'm actually surprised that he's not taken to being cross with me again."

Reinette wanted to ask why, if he was normally cross with Dúlinnor... but she thought better of it, and instead bit back the question and opted for sitting silently instead. She offered him a sympathetic look though, for good measure.

After a moment, Dúlinnor spoke up once more. "We will be leaving at first light. I suggest you rest. It will then be half a days ride before we reach Caras Galadhon."

"Caras Galadhon..." she whispered quietly to herself. In her mind, she could imagine what it must look like, but she was dying to know the true glory of the city at night... All the glow from the brilliant structures, eerie in their color... She didn't dare mention to Dúlinnor that she knew more than she was letting on. For whatever reason, she felt she couldn't share her knowledge of Tolkien, or how she knew any of this reality.

It was then that a terrible thought came to her. First, she didn't know what year it was. She didn't know what was happening, really. What if the stories that Tolkien had written were in fact true? Would her existence change them? Or would she be a valuable asset in the wrong hands?

An icy feeling seemed to grip at her stomach, heart and throat all at the same time. She almost felt like pulling into herself, and a worried expression couldn't help but cross her face.

She had a lot to talk about with Lady Galadriel. But she didn't even know how much she could reveal to her...

Dúlinnor's voice cut through the air, splitting the cold feeling in Reinette's heart in half. At least for now, the thought was out of her mind. "I have one final patrol before we leave. My brother will be with you until I return."

And there was the slightly worried feeling again. "Your brother is... the guy from earlier, right? With the throat grabbing and the heated discussion, right?" She shifted, now slightly uncomfortable. "He seems..." Reinette paused. She couldn't bring herself to flat up lie to him. Nice? She didn't know if she wanted to put it that way. So she finished with the only word she could think of. "...Brotherly?"

A yawn began to pull its way out of her chest, and she couldn't help but open her mouth. Covering it with her hand, she apologized afterward. "Yeah, I think I could definitely use some rest..." Untying her boots, she took them off, setting them next to the bed. She took off her cardigan as well, folding it and placing it on the foot of the bed. Climbing under the covers, she rested herself against the back of the bed by the pillows, turning to look at Dúlinnor.

"Thanks again, you know... for everything," Reinette began once more. "If it wasn't for you, I'd probably be alone right now, confused, and sleeping in the woods..." She turned to look at his face, and smiled. "It'll be nice to make this trip with you. Hopefully, together we can figure this all out..."

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The Elf noted Reinettes unease at the mention of his brother. "Your brother is... the guy from earlier, right? With the throat grabbing and the heated discussion, right?" He smiled slightly at her. "Yes. That was Aglaron." He confirmed for her. "He seems...Brotherly?" The young woman asked. Dúlinnor thought for a moment on her words. "I suppose. However, he was already angry with me before I returned with you. I'm certain that has something to do with how he's been."

A few moments later, Reinette decided that she wished to rest. The woman readied herself for rest and was soon lying down, looking at him. "Thanks again, you know... for everything. If it wasn't for you, I'd probably be alone right now, confused, and sleeping in the woods...It'll be nice to make this trip with you. Hopefully, together we can figure this all out..." He smiled at her. "The important thing is..that you are not alone. Keep faith, my friend. Now, rest. I will see you once I return."

He waited, simply happy to be able to rest for a bit before he needed to leave. He had only a very short time before he knew that his brother would appear. The Elf was unsure of how long had passed before he suddenly heard Aglaron's voice. "Little brother, should you not already be below and heading out for your patrol?"

Dúlinnor smiled at his brother's words. "Yes. Thank you for staying with her. I'll return soon." He was soon heading out of the flat and down the tree. He was trusting his brother to behave, to not bother the poor girl. As he reached the ground, a few other Elves joined him. They moved quickly, heading into the forest. Though there would be another group of Wardens heading out to the camp as they were heading towards the city. However, Haldir liked to make sure that everything was under control before allowing them to leave.

The small group spent their remaining few hours moving quickly through the forest. It came as no surprise to any of them that nothing was amiss. Only once they were certain that all was well did they turn around, heading back to camp. By now, Dúlinnor knew that the camp would be packed up and all the horses ready to go. Once they'd reached camp, he made his way looking for Aglaron. He found the male Elf easily as he was standing with two horses. "I was beginning to wonder if I was going to have to learn Westron in order to speak to the Human. I do not like that she does not speak our tongue. I was barely able to get her to understand that we needed to get ready for our trip."

"Regardless, thank you." Dúlinnor said gratefully. He then took the reins to his horse and then smoothly mounted the readied creature. He then turned the horse, nudging him into a walk, making his way to where he'd spotted Reinette. Dúlinnor stopped the horse, smiling down at the woman. "I was thinking that you could ride if me if you'd like. Or..you could always ride with Aglaron." He was joking of course. He was fairly certain that she'd rather not spend any more time with the older Elf than she needed to.

He offered to help her up behind him and only once he was certain that she would not fall did he move the horse again. Many other had already begun the trip and they would be towards the back for now. They ended up being next to Aglaron though it mattered little. The older Elf could not speak not understand the common tongue. "I do hope that my brother did not bother you too terribly." He said to the woman gently.

Just after she answered the Elf to their side spoke. "Do you have to speak in such a savage language? Perhaps you should teach her our tongue." Dúlinnor smiled. "She does not plan on staying long enough to learn. I suppose that you will have to try to get over this." Aglaron shook his head slightly. "Let us hope so. I still do not think it wise for you to be staying so close to her. We know nothing about her."

Dúlinnor was not surprised at his words. "I know. However, I do not think that we've anything to fear from her. Be at ease. She will be speaking with the Lady once we arrive in the city. Then, we will hopefully know more." He finally made it a point to turn his attention back to the woman. "I apologize." He said for he felt that he should not have been ignoring her..even for a short time. "I believe that my brother is warming up to you. He thinks you need to learn Elvish." He told her, smiling. There was no need to let her know everything that was said.

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"The important thing is... that you are not alone. Keep faith, my friend. Now, rest. I will see you once I return."

Reinette nodded, and pulled the cover up closer to herself before settling in. It wasn't long before she was asleep once more, off in her own little dream land.

~ - ~ - ~ D ~ R ~ E ~ A ~ M ~ - ~ - ~ S ~ E ~ Q ~ U ~ E ~ N ~ C ~ E ~ - ~ - ~


Reinette stood in the middle of a forest...

No... it wasn't a forest. I was more like... the ocean? The smell of salt water filled her senses, before vanishing and being replaced by the ever-familiar smell of grass. She opened her eyes to a field of grass, stretching on endlessly to the horizon. The image melted before her eyes, and she was then standing in the middle of a town.

She looked all about her, the images and settings around her ever changing. People were fazing in and out, voices coming and going, fading in and out of her senses. A blonde elf appeared before her, walking from the right to the left of her vision - he faded out just as quickly as he had faded in. But he looked... familiar.

She could almost see the essence of the beings around her floating about, as if they were all made of smoke. But the images all soon faded to black, though she could still hear the faint murmurings of people.

The floor seemed to drop out from under her, and she let out a scream as she fell. Her fall was broken by something hard - something really hard. Opening her eyes once more, she realized she was in a room filled with gold. Coins, lamps, jewelry. Sitting up, she could almost taste it all in the air. It was overpowering.

Shifting, she stood, almost sliding down the large pile she was standing on top of. She bent down once she had steadied herself, picking up a bracelet. She stared at it, turning her attention then to the room around her. It was massive. She couldn't even imagine the worth of the place.

A sound of sliding gold caught her attention, and she turned her head slowly to face the other side of the room. The bracelet in her hand fell to the ground, clinking against the pile of gold her feet were sinking into.

No wonder this placed seemed so familiar to her...

Smaug.

"This isn't supposed to be real. I'm not supposed to know any of this..." She whispered, and the dragon almost seemed to smile at her.


~ - ~ - ~ E ~ N ~ D ~ - ~ - ~ D ~ R ~ E ~ A ~ M ~ - ~ - ~ S ~ E ~ Q ~ U ~ E ~ N ~ C ~ E ~ - ~ - ~


Reinette sat up quickly, her breaths coming fast and rapidly. She clutched at her chest for a moment, trying to calm herself. "Oh God," she whispered. She wondered how much of this reality she truly knew.

She knew she had to find out what year it was. She had to find out the history. She needed to know what was going on around her.

Finally, she was able to calm herself enough to get out of bed. It was then that Aglaron entered the room. He seemed a bit surprised to find her awake, but she tried to offer him a smile anyway to show him that everything was fine.

'No one can know...' she thought to herself. 'Not until I can talk to Lady Galadriel...'

Aglaron said something in Elvish, and Reinette gave him a confused look. He seemed to sigh, albeit a bit frustrated, before he motioned for the door.

She figured out what he meant, and quick laced herself into her shoes before slipping on her cardigan and following him outside. He helped her down from the flat, and pretty much left her after that, going off to help some of the other men gather the horses. She stood there, sort of off to the side, and wrapped her arms around herself slightly. It wasn't long before she saw a familiar face in the crowd approaching her.

Her face instantly lit up at the site of Dúlinnor on his horse - a beautiful black, white and grey patchwork. He spoke once he arrived next to her. "I was thinking that you could ride if me if you'd like. Or... you could always ride with Aglaron." She turned her face to where Aglaron was, off in the distance. She shook her head after a moment, answering him.

"...I think I'll ride with you."

He offered her his hand, and she took it, swinging herself onto the horse. She was happy for the friends she had who had horses on their properties - she had enough practice on one that she could ride it fairly confidently, though she doubted that she could ride it at super fast speeds as confidently.

Her arms found their way around his mid-section to hold on securely. One she was situated, he lead the horse on. "I do hope that my brother did not bother you too terribly."

She shrugged. He hadn't, really. "I think I confuse him, to be honest. But I don't blame him."

Dúlinnor and Aglaron spoke again after a moment; Aglaron seemed more gruff about it than Dúlinnor did. He smiled eventually, as Aglaron shook his head.

Once they were done speaking, Dúlinnor turned his attention back to Reinette. "I apologize. I believe that my brother is warming up to you. He thinks you need to learn Elvish." She could hear the smile in his words at the last part, and she couldn't help but smile back.

"Well, depending on how long I'm here, I don't see any reason that I couldn't... Other than the fact that it's totally foreign to me."

She didn't bring up the fact that it wasn't, in fact, totally foreign to her. There wasn't a reason for him to know the extent of her knowledge of Middle Earth... or at least, what she thought she knew. There would be time after she spoke to Lady Galadriel.

She rested her head against his back after a moment, staring off at the woods as they passed through them. "About Middle Earth..." she began after a moment. Her voice was calm, but her intentions were more than that. She was trying to figure out just how much she knew about this place.

"What sorts of people... er... beings live here?" There was a voice in the back of her head that told her she already knew the answer. But she couldn't stop herself from asking.

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The Elf tilted his head slightly as the woman spoke behind him. Though he hoped that Galadriel would know how to get Reinette back to her world..he was also aware that there was a chance that nothing could be done for the young woman. He was unsure what would happen to her if that was the case. Normally, a Mortal would not be allowed to stay within Lórien for very long. Just until their business was done. Dúlinnor worried what would happen to Reinette if she was not allowed to stay.

As they continued, Reinette suddenly placed her head against his back. Dúlinnor allowed it, thinking that perhaps she was still tired from earlier. "About Middle Earth..." Reinette said, "What sorts of people... er... beings live here?" Dúlinnor was silent for a moment, noting Aglaron watching their interaction from the corner of his eye. The younger Elf was quick to ignore his brother. "There are many that inhabit Middle Earth." He started, glancing back in her direction. "There are beings both good and evil. There are Men, Elves, Hobbits, Ents, Dwarves," His voice changed slightly as he mentioned Dwarves. As with any other Elf, Dúlinnor had no care for the race.

"Wargs, Trolls, Orcs, and Goblins. Of course, there are many other things that are in this world. Though there is little need to speak of them for now. Why? Do you not have such things in your world?" He went silent for a moment, allowing her to speak. Everything he had spoken of was considered a race. However, there was so much more that made up their world. He could not imagine a place that did not contain such things.

Dúlinnor allowed the horse to pick up his pace as the others began a faster pace. He continued speaking with Reinette as they continued through the forest. They passed by the next group of Wardens about halfway to the city. It did not take them much longer, or so it seemed, before they came to the edge of the city where a rather large stable was located with a very large area behind where the horses could be let out.

He brought the horse to a stop and then waited for Reinette to dismount before following her to the ground. He took hold of the reins, pulling them over the horse's head and then turned his attention to the woman. "We will walk the rest of the way.." He started though was soon interrupted by Aglaron. "Brother, I will take care of the horses. Take her to the Lady. I will see you shortly."

Dúlinnor smiled at the older Elf. "Of course. Thank you, Aglaron." He handed the reins over and then placed a hand gently over his heart and then away from his body, a sign of farewell. His brother simply nodded, turning from the pair. Dúlinnor suddenly moved, walking in a different direction. "Come. We have a bit of a ways before we reach the city."

He led the way, walking slow enough that the Mortal could keep up. They moved further within the forest, soon coming across a green wall that was made up of vines and flowers. Just behind that was the Deep Fosse, an impassible trench that had been dug so long ago, that ran completely around the city of Caras Galahon. It consisted of sharp rocks that could cut the feet of anyone or anything that was daft enough to try to cross. The only way across was walking across the bridge that was located near the southern gate.

As they reached the bridge, Dúlinnor brought them to a halt. He knew that Haldir would be there soon. The older Elf had made sure that he'd known that he would be escorting the pair to Galadriel. "Are we ready?" The older Elf suddenly spoke as he walked quickly towards the pair. Dúlinnor looked to Reinette, allowing her to answer. Haldir then moved past them, easily getting upon the bridge.

The bridge itself was a difficult thing to walk upon unless one had the balance that Elves had. It was made entirely of rope, no wood was used. It was wide enough for a being to place one foot in front of the other. They had fastened a ropes along and up high enough to use as a railing though it was still quite a difficult trek. Haldir moved with ease across the rope, not bothering to take hold of the railings. "I know that Mortals do not possess the same abilities that my kind does. If you would like, I will follow behind you and help you."

He would make sure that she did not fall. He followed her closely, moving much as Haldir had though he made sure to keep his hands upon her waist, helping to keep her upon the rope. Haldir had reached the other side much quickly that the pair could. However, when they had, Dúlinnor released Reinette. "Quickly." Haldir said, turning from them and walking quickly. "The Lady Galadriel is waiting for you."

Dúlinnor moved after Haldir. He knew that the Marchwarden did not like keeping their ruler waiting. They entered into the city. There were building in the trees and below on the ground. Homes littered about most of the area though there was a market place that was quite large. There were a few areas that the Wardens even kept to..practicing their arts as well as training new members. Haldir led the way, making for the largest of the Mallorn trees where Lady Galadriel and Lord Celeborn ruled over their land.

They received quite a few stares as they passed by other Elves though Dúlinnor ignored them. He knew, however, that his family would soon be aware of what was going on. He was not looking forward to discussing it with his parents. Haldir began heading up steps that wound around the tree and Dúlinnor followed, walking next to Reinette. He'd not said much to her since Haldir had joined them. It was not that he did not wish to speak to her but more the fact that the other Elf typically was all business and did not look kindly upon any who did not take the task at hand seriously.

The steps seemed to go on for such a long time before they, at last, reached the top. Haldir made for a large area that was heavily guarded and came to a stop before the steps. Dúlinnor stopped a few paces behind the other Elf, watching as Galadriel and Celeborn descended the steps together. The rulers came to a stop, looking down at the Mortal. Galadriel seemed rather intrigued by her..almost as if she could sense that there was something different about the young woman.

Haldir spoke, informing them how they'd come to find the Human. Galadriel's eyes drifted to Dúlinnor before returning to Reinette. "You may leave us, Marchwarden." Galadriel said softly. Haldir slightly bowed and then left the pair. "I believe we have much to discuss, Reinette Elise Oswald. Tell me, Child, why are you here." She said, eyeing the Mortal. Dúlinnor glanced to Reinette. He wondered what would be decided though would remain silent for now.

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"There are many that inhabit Middle Earth. There are beings both good and evil. There are Men, Elves, Hobbits, Ents, Dwarves, Wargs, Trolls, Orcs, and Goblins. Of course, there are many other things that are in this world. Though there is little need to speak of them for now. Why? Do you not have such things in your world?"

Reinette was quiet for a moment before she spoke. 'So no dragons...' she thought, letting out a small breath she had been holding. "Well, it's just us. Just humans. Or, 'Men', I guess you would say. Just 'Men'..."

She didn't say much after that, contemplating her situation. They picked up pace, and their conversations began and ended sporadically, talking a bit about each type of being of Middle Earth.

It wasn't long before they arrived at a set of stables. Reinette watched for a moment as the others in their group began to dismount, and she figured that she should as well. Taking her exit from the horse, she waited for Dúlinnor to dismount. "We will walk the rest of the way." His voice was kind, but firm. She nodded, as Aglaron said something to him. Reinette quietly watched the interaction, noting the gesture that Dúlinnor offered to Aglaron.

She made a mental note to ask him of it a bit later.

Her attention was pulled to his moving form, and she had to move a bit quickly to catch up to him. "Come. We have a bit of a ways before we reach the city."

It felt as if they had been walking for less of a time than they truly had - the excitement Reinette felt almost electrified her, making her mind pass the time away quickly. The excitement was more of a nervous excitement, though.

Soon they came across a green wall of flowers and vines. Reinette stopped momentarily to gaze upon it, totally enthralled by the intricacy of the weaving vines. Everything about the place around her felt alive - absolutely and totally alive, almost as if nothing had ever died, or ever could.

Once they passed the wall, they stopped in front of a bridge... But it wasn't really like any bridge that Reinette had ever seen. She turned to look back at Dúlinnor, a worried look on her face. "I don't know if I can cross that...," she began, and was about to continue when Haldir approached the two.

Haldir spoke, and Reinette looked back toward the bridge, the nervous feeling from before settling in her stomach, but she nodded anyway. There was no way for her to just jump across - she had no choice. So she swallowed her nerves, and moved forward.

Haldir had already crossed with such ease. Reinette would have commented that he made it look effortless, but it wouldn't have mattered anyway. She was already beginning to see the extent of her limitations in this world.

A feeling of utter helplessness began to overcome her, before she felt Dúlinnor's hands on her waist, helping her across. She felt his strength in them, and it helped to ground her mind once more.

"I know that Mortals do not possess the same abilities that my kind does. If you would like, I will follow behind you and help you."

Reinette nodded, barely able to get the word "Thanks" out of her mouth; she was so concentrated on not falling. Clearing her throat, she offered up a more confident thanks to him. "Thank you, Dúlinnor..." There was a smile in her words - she was trying to think about the situation in a different light. Like the ropes course she had to do when she graduated from high school on their school retreat. It was difficult, but she had done it.

The confidence in her was building once more, though she tried not to think about the rocks below. Or how a ropes course in high school was a lot different than a thin rope bridge across a gorge.

Eventually they reached the other side, and a slight wave of embarassment flooded over her once she realized how long Haldir had been there waiting.

"Quickly. The Lady Galadriel is waiting for you." Reinette followed behind both Haldir and Dúlinnor, moving a lot quicker than the two before her had to. They soon entered the city, and Reinette watched the places around her curiously as they walked along... or at least, she tried to, due to the speed at which she had to travel to keep up with the males.

She could feel the eyes on her as the moved through the city, mostly watching her with curiosity - though some seemed rather wary of her presence. She could practically feel the unasked questions of who she was floating in the air. It was unnerving to see those around her practicing or talking, and suddenly turning to look at her. She kept her eyes ahead of her then, instead of looking around.

But soon, they were at the base of what appeared to be the largest tree of them all. Steps wound up around the base of the tree; Reinette could not see where they ended. Haldir began to make his way up the stairs, and Dúlinnor followed. Reinette stood at the bottom for a few seconds, contemplating the amount of time it would take to make it to the top, before realizing that she was behind. Rushing up the first few steps, she caught up with the male Elves ahead of her.

She took a spot next to Dúlinnor, and she offered him a small smile. The trip up the wooden stairs seemed to stretch into eternity - Reinette would have liked to cut the silence with small talk at least, but she got the overwhelming feeling that she ought to keep quiet as best as possible. Finally, the small group reached the top of the stairs.

The young woman followed closely behind the two males, eventually coming to a stop before a set of steps. Her eyes traced from the floor, up the stairs, to see the forms of two very elegant people descending the stairs before her.

Her breath caught in her throat.

There was no question about it - Lady Galadriel and Lord Celeborn seemed to radiate in the room about them. Their presence was commanding, yet entirely ethereal at the same time.

Haldir spoke, but Reinette wasn't entirely listening to what was being said - he could have been speaking English or Elvish... or even Chinese for that matter - but she wouldn't have known the difference, for her eyes were only on Galadriel and Celeborn. Galadriel seemed to be very interested in her as well, and her gaze seemed to pull the young woman in.

Galadriel looked toward Dúlinnor briefly, before speaking. It was then that Reinette realized she was talking to her.

"I believe we have much to discuss, Reinette Elise Oswald. Tell me, Child, why are you here."

Reinette looked over at Dúlinnor for a moment, meeting his eyes, before looking back at Galadriel. A few thoughts were running through her head, and she was attempting the task of sorting through them and picking the best answer.

Why was she there? A clear answer finally seemed to emerge from the jumble of memories from before.

"I think...," she paused, looking between Celeborn and Galadriel, before finally setting her gaze on Galadriel. "I think I'm here because... Because I wished for it."

She knew how absolutely crazy that sounded, even to herself. But at that point, anything could have been possible. Hell, she was in Middle Earth. If she saw pigs with wings flying about her, she probably wouldn't have questioned it in that moment, either.

She took a breath before she spoke again. "I was in my bedroom, reading a book... Not just any book. An important book. A book that should be entirely impossible, as I stand here in front of you." She looked about her for a moment, taking it all in, before speaking again. "I looked out my window, and I wished on a star. I wished to be anywhere but where I was... I wished myself here."

A wry smile found its way to her face. "It doesn't make sense. It shouldn't be possible. I'd think I was crazy if I wasn't living this myself. But... I'm not from here. Not Caras Galadon. Not Lothlórien. Not even Middle Earth." She paused for a moment, trying to gauge Galadriel's reaction, but she couldn't read anything off of the Elven Queen. "...And yet, not all of this is entirely foreign to me."

She didn't know just how much she could say. She wondered how much of the reality she was in matched up with the reality of Tolkien. She wondered briefly how much of a danger she was... And how much danger she would be in, depending on what Galadriel would reveal to her about what was going on.

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Galadriel remained silent, watching Reinette. She took note of the woman's actions, even as she looked to the Warden that had remained near her. A few moments later, the woman spoke. "I think...I think I'm here because... Because I wished for it." Galadriel did not allow herself to react to the comment, merely waiting for her to continue. Dúlinnor, however, had a look of intrigue upon his face though continued to remain silent. "I was in my bedroom, reading a book... Not just any book. An important book. A book that should be entirely impossible, as I stand here in front of you."

Dúlinnor was taking in everything that Reinette was saying. However, even to him it sounded outlandish. Yet, it did not seem that the Elven Queen thought so..though it was hard to tell. "I looked out my window, and I wished on a star. I wished to be anywhere but where I was... I wished myself here. It doesn't make sense. It shouldn't be possible. I'd think I was crazy if I wasn't living this myself. But... I'm not from here. Not Caras Galadon. Not Lothlórien. Not even Middle Earth...And yet, not all of this is entirely foreign to me."

There was a moment of silence after Reinette stopped speaking. It was almost as if all of the Elves present were trying to understand what had been said. "I feel that what you say is truth." Galadriel said, her gaze still resting steadily upon Reinette. "You say that not all of this is foreign to you. I would know what you mean."

Dúlinnor had to admit that he was rather interested in what the woman had to say. They were all silent as they listened to her speak. Only once she had did Galadriel speak up. "I have heard of such things happening though they are quite rare. Traveling between worlds is not a easy feat. Even more so if the worlds are not connected." She paused, regarding the young woman for a short moment. She knew that what needed to be said would likely not be easy on the Mortal.

"You wish to return to your world." She stated, waiting only long enough for Reinette to confirm or deny this. "I am not familiar with the magic that has brought you to Middle Earth. I know not how to send you back. However, I will begin looking for a way. You are welcome to remain within our Realm until you are able to return to you world."

Galadriel suddenly turned her gaze to Dúlinnor. "Dúlinnor, it is easy to see that she holds trust in you. I would ask you to watch over her during her stay with us. She will need somewhere to stay.." Dúlinnor did not answer immediately. Instead glancing to the woman at his side. He knew that his brother would not be happy once he realized that the younger Elf was still hanging about the Mortal. Regardless, he would not allow that to sway his decision. He bowed his head slightly to Galadriel. "Of course. I would be honored to watch over her."

He paused for a moment. He knew that Reinette could easily stay with him. His flet was more than big enough for two beings to dwell within. She would even have the privacy that she would need. He had a spare room that typically went unused and he knew that he would likely be back on patrol after his few months of rest that he'd already been granted. "She could stay with me. It would make it easier to keep an eye on her. I've plenty of room."

Galadriel suddenly smiled at the Elf. There were few that would have made such an offer to someone that they'd just met. The Elven Queen turned her attention back to Reinette. "Dúlinnor has offered to allow you to stay with him. However, if you should wish a place of your own that can be arranged as well. I am afraid that I am unsure how long it will take me to find a way to return you." She smiled at Reinette. "Do not let yourself be troubled. Go now. There is much time left in the day. Enjoy it."

It was then that Galadriel and Celeborn turned, heading back up the stairs together. Dúlinnor turned his gaze to Reinette, offering her a smile. "I would very much like to go to my flet briefly. There is no need for me to be carrying around my weapons within the city. Then, we will head to the market and get you some things."

He turned then, leading the way back down the large tree. He walked slow enough that Reinette could keep up with him more easily. "Are you all right? Staying here, I mean?" He asked her suddenly. He assumed that she'd wanted to return to her world more than anything. He allowed her to answer though did not say anything more then that if anyone could help her, it was Galadriel.

They reached the end of the stairs and then Dúlinnor led the way back a ways through the city, passing more locations that they'd passed when they'd first arrived. He then took a sharp left, heading past Elves and steps. They, at last came to another one of the Mallorn trees. It looked no different than the others that were near them. He began heading up, glancing at Reinette. "We are almost there." He told her.

He knew that to any that did not travel within the forest often could easily become lost. Within a few short moments they'd arrived at a medium sized flet. It was wrapped around the tree, situated perfectly so that it would not fall nor bother the tree in any way. It was a single story building though it had quite a few rooms. Dúlinnor opened the door and then moved back, allowing Reinette to enter first. Only once she had did he follow, shutting the door behind them.

They'd entered into a sitting room of sorts. It was neat and clean, everything in its rightful place. There were a few ancient looking weapons that had been put upon the walls and a map or painting about as well. It was by no means the most luxurious flet but it was his. He was then taking his bow and quiver off, laying them upon the rack that was by the door. He then removed the sword that he carried, placing it with the other weapons.

He then turned his attention back to Reinette. He was watching her, taking in her reaction to seeing the building. "There is a spare room that is on the other side of the flet. You are welcome to it." He said to her. "However, I believe that we should head to the market. You are in need of some clothing." He paused for a moment, turning towards the door again. Before he opened it, however, he spoke again. "I am expected to visit my family soon as well. Aglaron and I have been gone for quite a few months. You are welcome to join me if you wish it."

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Reinette could almost feel the heavy silence in the room once she was done speaking. It felt like there were a million eyes staring her down, but she couldn't bring herself to look away from Galadriel. After a few moments, she spoke up.

"I feel that what you say is truth."

Reinette could have fainted at that, but she didn't - instead, smiling at the knowledge that someone so important believed her.

"You say that not all of this is foreign to you. I would know what you mean."

Reinette paused. How did she explain it without... fully explaining it? She said the only thing she could think of; it wasn't a lie, but it wasn't the entire truth either. There were some things she felt she just couldn't reveal in the presence of so many.

"Your world is sort of... a legend, in mine. I live on a place called Earth... Middle Earth is supposed to just be some sort of fairy tale. Just a story..."

The room was quiet for a few minutes more, before Galadriel spoke again. "I have heard of such things happening though they are quite rare. Traveling between worlds is not a easy feat. Even more so if the worlds are not connected." There was a slight pause. "You wish to return to your world."

The words were a statement, but they were phrased more like a question. Reinette nodded out of instinct, listening to what Galadriel said next. "I am not familiar with the magic that has brought you to Middle Earth. I know not how to send you back. However, I will begin looking for a way. You are welcome to remain within our Realm until you are able to return to you world."

Reinette could feel the air leave her like a punch to the stomach. She had been sure that Galadriel would have an answer to her problem. But she didn't... It was reassuring to know that she would be investigating how to get her home, but Reinette was just beginning to worry. She hardly knew anyone in Middle Earth. Really, she didn't know much of anyone besides Dúlinnor...

It was good to know that she was welcome to stay within the confines of Lothlórien. For that, she was thankful.

Galadriel hadn't finished speaking, though. But Reinette could not understand what was said. All she knew was the look that Dúlinnor had given her. She offered him a smile in return, as he continued to speak with Galadriel. Their conversation paused, and both Galadriel and Dúlinnor seemed to turn their attention to Reinette. She looked towards Galadriel, as the Elven woman spoke.

"Dúlinnor has offered to allow you to stay with him. However, if you should wish a place of your own that can be arranged as well. I am afraid that I am unsure how long it will take me to find a way to return you." A smile was offered to her by the Queen, and Reinette nodded, offering a small smile of her own. It was difficult to smile at the knowledge that she couldn't predict a time frame, but she figured as much when she found out that Galadriel wasn't even sure what was truly going on. The Elven Queen almost seemed to be reading her mind, with the next words she offered to the young woman.

"Do not let yourself be troubled. Go now. There is much time left in the day. Enjoy it."

Reinette watched the Elven Queen and King turn, before the pair made their way back up the steps from whence they had come. Reinette watched after them for a while, until she heard Dúlinnor's voice. She pulled her attention to him, smiling at the smile that was offered to her by the Elven man.

"I would very much like to go to my flet briefly. There is no need for me to be carrying around my weapons within the city. Then, we will head to the market and get you some things." The pair began to walk toward the steps that they had come up, making their way back down once more.

"The market?" Reinette said. "To get me things?" She hadn't really thought about it, but nodded. It sounded like a good idea in that moment. And if Galadriel didn't know how long it would be until she could get Reinette home, then it was probably better to be prepared for a stay of some substantial length.

Reinette felt a little lightheaded at that realization. She had no idea whatsoever about how long she was going to be staying. She wondered what was going on back home. Were people wondering where she had gone? Was time still existing there without her? But she kept walking with Dúlinnor, trying to push all invasive thoughts out of her mind.

"Are you all right? Staying here, I mean?" Reinette shrugged at Dúlinnor's questions.

"I honestly don't know. I don't have much of a choice, do I?" She paused, and figured that sounded much too harsh. "I'm sorry," she began. "It's just a lot of information at once..."

Their conversations were minimal to none as they made their way to Dúlinnor's flet. Reinette was trying to memorize the route from the large tree to his place, hoping that if she got lost she could at least go from the largest and easiest to distinguish tree back to his home. But everything seemed to sort of have the same feel to it - Reinette figured she would need more practice to get it right.

Eventually, they arrived to Dúlinnor's flet; it was a moderate size, and Reinette thought the way it seemed to exist with the tree it was built on was something akin to magic and a super-fine art. Dúlinnor opened the door to his home, ushering her inside, before entering behind her and shutting the door.

His home was clean and simple, but she could tell from what she had observed of him that this was the type of home he would keep. He had a kind way about him, and the feeling she got inside his home was one of a home... It was pleasant, and she felt comfortable there.

She hadn't noticed him take off any of his weapons - she only realized it, once he hung his sword with the other few that were displayed. Her eyes moved all around the room, her body following slowly as she walked around, trying to take everything in, just barely holding back the urge to touch absolutely everything and make sure they were all real - that this still wasn't some sort of delusion.

Dúlinnor spoke up, and Reinette turned her body half way to look at him as he spoke. "There is a spare room that is on the other side of the flet. You are welcome to it. However, I believe that we should head to the market. You are in need of some clothing."

She nodded, smiling. "Thank you again, Dúlinnor... All of this," she gestured to the room around her. "All of this is simply too kind. You didn't have to do any of this for me... But, thanks for opening your home to me." She paused. "And thanks for taking me out to the market."

The next words that he offered her were slightly a shock to her, though. "I am expected to visit my family soon as well. Aglaron and I have been gone for quite a few months. You are welcome to join me if you wish it."

'His family?' she thought. It was quiet sudden, at the least. But he was kind, so she figured the rest of his family must be as well. Aglaron didn't seem too bad... Just stubborn, maybe.

"...Okay, I guess." she said, approaching his turned back. She stood next to him by the door, and waited for him to exit before she spoke again, following him outside. "I don't see why not." She offered him a smile.

She figured at the very least, it would all help to take her mind off of the events at hand. As they exited his flet, a realization came over her.

Her eyes widened as she turned to him, a look of forgetful panic on her face. "I haven't got any money though!" She stopped her movement, realization hitting her. "How am I supposed to buy anything? How does anyone even get money here?" She felt like it was a stupid question but... there was so much that she just didn't know.

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Reinette did not answer him right away. He did not rush her, patiently waiting. He would not force her to go. He'd just thought it best to get the meeting over with. He knew that Aglaron's comments about their parents not being happy with him spending time with a Human was true. However, he held hope that his parents would quickly get over any disapproval that they would hold. "...Okay, I guess." Reinette said as she approached him. The Elf then opened the door, leading the way out of the flet. "I don't see why not." The woman said, offering him a smile. Dúlinnor returned it. Truly, he hoped that the meeting would go well.

Dúlinnor began walking towards the stairs, intending upon leading the woman back down. However, he stopped as Reinette turned to him..before he was able to reach them. He turned, his gaze focusing on her. It was easy for him to see that she was suddenly panicked over something. He tilted his head slightly..almost as if asking her what was bothering her. "I haven't got any money though! How am I supposed to buy anything? How does anyone even get money here?"

The Elf merely smiled at Reinette. "You needn't worry. I had assumed that you did not have any." He replied, still smiling. He began walking again, slowly, walking down the steps. "I will take care of it. As for..getting money, one simply needs a profession. Is that not how you make money in your world?" He paused, allowing her to answer him before continuing. "For instance, I am a Warden. That is my profession. I am paid for my services to Lothlórien." He did not explain further at the moment about what he was paid..she did not need to know that Wardens were paid fairly well in the chance that they lost their lives in service to the Realm.

They reached the bottom of the stairs and Dúlinnor continued walking at the slow pace. "The market is not far from here." He told her, walking by her side. He knew that Reinette was likely to gain more looks once again. However, most of the Elves were likely to be more curious than anything. Word would soon spread that Reinette was staying within the Realm and things would begin to settle down.

It did not take more than a minute to enter into the market. The place was bustling with Elves that were getting their daily tasks and shopping done. There were many tents set up, all selling different things. Some sold food, other clothing. Even one that had things for the small Elflings. Dúlinnor headed over to one of the tents. A beautiful Elven woman looked up at the pair. She cast a curious glance to Dúlinnor before greeting them in Elvish.

Dúlinnor returned the greeting before speaking with her. He explained to her what they needed. The woman then took a good long look at Reinette. Her gaze lingered a bit longer than was probably necessary. "Yes..I believe that I've got some things that will fit her. Just a moment." The woman moved then, searching for the items she had spoken of. While they waited, Dúlinnor glanced to Reinette. "She believes that she has some things already. Which is good. She will not need to make anything." He explained to her.

A moment later the Elf returned, her arms ladened with many different items of clothing. "This should be everything I've got in the Mortal's size. Though, if she decides that there is something else she needs..send her my way. I'll take care of the child." The woman said, offering Reinette a smile. Dúlinnor paid and then thanked the Elf. The items were quickly wrapped and bundled so as to make carrying them much easier. Dúlinnor then turned, waiting for Reinette to join him. "She wished you to know that if you need anything else to speak with her. She would be happy to make things for you." He said softly.

He waited a moment, allowing her to comment before speaking again. "Is there anything else you would like to look at while we are here?" He asked her kindly. He was unsure if she would or not though wished to let her know that he was happy either way. They also needed to eat. However, Dúlinnor suspected that by the time they arrived at his parents' flet that they would have food ready.

Dúlinnor suspected that Aglaron would be there by they arrived, as well. He knew that the older Elf would have likely told the older Elves what had happened. His mother would be more forgiving than his father though Dúlinnor pushed the thought from his mind, trying to concentrate on Reinette. He knew that everything that was happening could not be easy for the young woman. Though, she was not alone and that had to be better than wandering Middle Earth with no clue where to go or what to do.

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"You needn't worry. I had assumed that you did not have any."

Reinette could feel herself almost deflate at the statement, and felt rather embarrassed when she saw Dúlinnor's smile. She was thankful that he was going to look out for her financially, and spend some of his money to help her along, but she also felt sort of bad about it at the same time. She understood her own limitation though, and figured there wasn't much she could do about it.

They began walking forward again, and Dúlinnor continued to speak. "I will take care of it. As for... getting money, one simply needs a profession. Is that not how you make money in your world?"

There was a pause, and she nodded. It was a rather obvious question, really. She felt a tinge of embarrassment once more at the thought that she had even asked it. Dúlinnor continued to speak. "For instance, I am a Warden. That is my profession. I am paid for my services to Lothlórien."

Reinette nodded again, as they reached the bottom of the stairs. She didn't truly know everything a Warden did, but she knew it probably wasn't an easy job either. "The market is not far from here." Dúlinnor walked by her side, and Reinette offered him a smile as they walked. It wasn't long before she felt the eyes of the Elves around them on her. She tried her best to ignore it as they approached the marketplace.

There were different places selling all sorts of different bits and bobs. Reinette was immediately in awe of the places around her, looking all around as Dúlinnor guided them both toward a tent. It didn't even matter to her any longer that there were eyes on her, all around.

Soon, they approached a tent - a beautiful Elven woman stood inside. Her eyes rested on Dúlinnor for a moment, a seemingly curious look on her face, before they two began to speak. Reinette kept quiet as she watched the pair interact. The woman disappeared after a moment, and Dúlinnor turned to Reinette to speak. "She believes that she has some things already. Which is good. She will not need to make anything."

Before Reinette could even answer, the Elven woman had returned. In her hands was a beautiful assortment of fabrics - clothes and shoes, as well as other clothing items. Reinette was totally in awe at the beauty of the pieces she was being handed. Her mouth hung open slightly as she inspected the pieces. Their quality was so high, so absolutely stunning... She had no idea how such beautiful pieces of clothing could be made. "She wished you to know that if you need anything else to speak with her. She would be happy to make things for you."

She turned to Dúlinnor as he spoke. "These are absolutely beautiful..." Her voice trailed off, and she smiled. "I... I don't know how I can ever thank you..."

He spoke again after a moment, his words kind. "Is there anything else you would like to look at while we are here?"
Reinette didn’t feel as if she could ask for anything more, but her mind could only come up with one thought at the question.

“If it’s okay…” she began, a smile on her face. “I’d like a book. Maybe one to write in, and something to write with…” She wanted to be able to keep track of what happened to her day by day – a journal of sorts. It was the English major in her… She wanted to record her adventures, if she was lucky enough to have any at all. At the very least, it would be something to look back on in the future. Something to remember Dúlinnor – and everyone else – by when she went home.

The thought passed briefly through her head. ’If I go home…’ She tried not to let that thought get to her, and instead thought about the beautiful new pieces that Dúlinnor had bought for her.

“Do you mind if we go back to your home for me to… wash up? I want to change, too.” She was just starting to realize how uncomfortable she was in her clothes. How many days had she been wearing them again? She couldn’t remember, but she figured she definitely wasn’t presentable the way she was.

There was no way she was going to be meeting Dúlinnor’s parents the way she looked. She simply couldn’t stand for it. It was no way to make a good first impression for anyone, and she already knew she was center of everyone’s curiosity around her… She didn’t need to be making a bad name for herself.

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He watched Reinette as she began smiling, listening as she spoke. “If it’s okay…I’d like a book. Maybe one to write in, and something to write with…” Dúlinnor found himself smiling at her in return. "Of course. I am certain that we can find one for you." He fell silent, slowly walking. He knew just the place that he wanted to take her. They would have that which she wanted. Reinette, tore his attention once again, speaking. “Do you mind if we go back to your home for me to… wash up? I want to change, too.”

Dúlinnor glanced to the Mortal briefly as he continued to lead the way. "Not at all. We will head back once we obtain your book." He said, suddenly stopping before another large tent. His gaze suddenly turned to it, taking in its appearance. "Here we are. I believe we can find your book here." He said softly. He led the way closer, this time entering the tent. Inside, there were several shelves that were filled to the brim with books of all sorts. This tent was slightly more abuzz than the previous had been.

Upon entering, it was easy to see why the place was so popular. The Elf that was working was older though seemed to have quite a happy spirit. He was bustling about, helping out the few others that were shopping within. This time, Dúlinnor hung back some, allowing Reinette to shop about as she wished. He was merely happy watching her. The older Elf was soon approached Reinette though he was one of the few that spoke Westron. He spoke with the woman, seemingly to find out what she was looking for and if he could help her.

Dúlinnor moved only when the Mortal had decided on what she wanted. He gladly handed over the price for the book and then turned, leading the way from the tent. He'd offered to carry the woman's previous purchases. "Come. If you wish to ready yourself then it would be best that we head back now." He began leading the way once again, glad that the trip would not take too awfully long.

As they walked, Dúlinnor remained near Reinette, speaking with her of things that mattered little. For the most part he would explain different things that they passed. Before he knew it they had arrived back at his flet. He opened the door, allowing Reinette to enter before him once again. This time, however, he moved further within the dwelling. "I shall show you to your room..and then you can ready yourself as you wish." He said as he walked through the home.

He made his way through a kitchen of sorts and then came to a door. Dúlinnor opened it, revealing a moderate sized bedroom that was fully furnished but had obviously seen little use. He moved within, allowing Reinette to enter. His gaze landed upon her, watching. "It is not much, I'm afraid, but I offer it you for as long as you have need of it." He said kindly, smiling. He put her things down on the made bed and then turned back to her. "There is a bath connected to this room that is for your use. I shall leave you. When you are ready you may find me in the sitting room."

It was then that Dúlinnor took his leave from Reinette. He moved slowly through his home. It had been quite some time since he'd been there yet it always pleased him when he was there. It was the one place that he felt truly at ease. He probably should have readied himself for the evening as Reinette wished to do though opted for simply remaining in his normal attire. He took a seat, simply waiting.

He found that he was worrying once again about taking Reinette to his family's home. He knew that he would need to speak with his parents before they actually saw the woman. He sighed quietly before picking one of the books that had been sitting nearby. He allowed himself to begin reading, glad to pick up where he'd left off before he'd had to return to the border. He waited patiently for the woman to reappear, not caring how long she took. His family would wait until he arrived before eating. That much he was sure of.

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"Of course. I am certain that we can find one for you." Reinette absolutely brightened up at his words. The large package of clothing she was carrying seemed that much lighter, and she felt as if there was a new-found happiness in her step. The pair made their way toward a book seller nearby - Reinette continued to draw attention, though this time it was not only because she was clearly not an Elf... but also because of the dazzling smile she had plastered on her face.

Dúlinnor's voice answered the young woman's question about returning to clean herself. "Not at all. We will head back once we obtain your book... Here we are. I believe we can find your book here." His voice was so kind - that was something that Reinette had noticed almost as soon as they had first made acquaintance with each other. She liked the way that he said his words, the way his mouth and voice seemed to let the words float away, as if caught on some wind.

Smiling, Reinette entered the tent with Dúlinnor, though she soon passed him. Her eyes wide, she took in the vast amount of books that the seller was offering.

The voice of an older man spoke from behind her - it would have made her jump under any other circumstance, except for the fact that this voice held such wisdom and kindness that it could not startle even the most shy of creatures. She turned her head and saw the shopkeeper, an older looking Elven man. "Ah..." He said, a slight glitter in his eye. "You are not... Please forgive me, for my Westron is not well spoken." Reinette laughed slightly before speaking.

"There is no need to be forgiven. You speak just fine." She smiled at the man, who offered her a kind smile in return. The happiness in his eyes was apparent, and he approached her more as she turned her head to look at the shelves.

"Do you have a blank book? Something I might be able to write in...?"

The shopkeeper nodded, and pulled down a beautifully bound leather book from the top-most shelf. It seemed like it had been sitting there for all eternity, and with the light of the day on it's covers once more, it seemed to glow with a new-found life. Like it had been meant for her all along.

"It's beautiful..." Reinette whispered, taking the masterpiece of binding from his hands gently. He smiled at the book, turning his eyes to her.

"Please, take something to scribe your thoughts..." He offered her a quill of sorts, bony in structure and yet altogether natural. She took it from his hand, turning it over in her own. A bright smile was offered to the man, before he nodded gently, and turned to Dúlinnor. The younger Elven man handed over a few coins to the shopkeeper, who took them and thanked the other man in Elvish.

All the while, Reinette was glancing around at the other books. Most of them seemed to be in Elvish, and she felt the twinge of curiosity. What did they say? She couldn't help but wonder if she would be able to learn to read them at any point. She thought she just might be gutsy enough to try to teach herself in any spare time she had.

Turning to thank the shopkeeper, he smiled, his eyes twinkling happily. "If you shall ever need more to keep your thoughts, I shall be here."

"Thank you..." She said, most sincerely, before turning to exit the tent with Dúlinnor. She turned to wave a goodbye to the shopkeeper, who simply smiled.

Turning back to Dúlinnor, the Elven male offered to carry Reinette's things, insisting that they head back to his home to ready themselves. At first, she was reluctant to have him carry anything - he had been the one kind enough to buy them for her in the first place, so having them carried by him just seemed to her to be adding insult to injury. But he insisted, so she reluctantly handed him the parcel of clothing items from the first stop. She couldn't bring herself to part with the journal and quill though, the former feeling unnaturally warm, but right, in her hands.

They walked together for a short while to his flet. Reinette asked him various questions about his home - how it balanced so well in the tree, how long he had lived there, what it was like to be a Warden. He answered however he could, though most of the questions - and most of the answers, rightfully so - were just simply to fill the space between them as they walked. Reinette was more curious about who Dúlinnor was, what everything around her was, as time went on. But she felt as if her questions were a bit much at times, and tried her best to not overwhelm the man beside her with too many questions.

After a short amount of time had passed, they arrived back at Dúlinnor's flet. He took her inside, showing her where her room was. Opening the door to her room, she was happy to see that the place she would be staying was so clean and tidy. It was simple, but it was beautiful in every right.

"It is not much, I'm afraid, but I offer it you for as long as you have need of it."

"Not much?" She echoed back, though her reaction was more of a question. "It's beautiful... It's perfect. I couldn't ask for anything more."

Dúlinnor deposited her things down on the bed, and then explained the location of the bath. Reinette nodded, smiling, and thanked him as he left the room so she could get ready.

Once Dúlinnor had taken his leave, she closed the door to the room. Peeling her clothing from her body, she tucked them on top of the dressing table, before taking a look at her reflection in a nearby mirror of sorts. She noted a few cuts and scrapes - probably from when she was was sleeping on the forest floor - as well as a few minor bruises - most likely from when she had passed out. She looked a little tired though, but she figured a revitalizing bath would make her feel more energized.

Stepping into the bathroom, she found a tub that was more like a in in-ground pool the size of a large soaking tub. There was water inside the bath already, hot and steaming. Stepping in, her muscles immediately relaxed, and she sunk into it like a warm embrace.

She scrubbed the dirt and grime from her body, submerging herself fully. Once she came up for air, she scrubbed her hair clean, using body washes and hair washes that were placed nearby. The smell of lavender and lemongrass filled her senses, and she reveled in its feeling a little while longer, before she decided she had spent enough time relaxing.

Stepping from the tub, she found some plush cloths nearby to dry off with, as well as a plush robe of sorts. Slipping in, she began the task of drying her long blonde hair. The cloths seemed to suck the water clear from her hair, and the process took much shorter than she had anticipated. Soon, she was dry, so she stepped from the bathroom to her bedroom, looking through the purchases from earlier.

A beautiful shimmering dress of a baby or powder blue color stood out the most to her. It had silver woven and embroidered throughout the piece. A beautiful silver and blue corset was built into the dress, for which Reinette was thankful. Many of the other dresses would require assistance, for their corsets were separate and Reinette knew she couldn't tighten them fully herself. She was also thankful for the two pairs of pants she saw in the pile of clothing. She was also thankful for the options provided to her in footwear, and she chose a pair of shoes appropriate for the dress.

Tying herself into the dress, she found some silver hair accents, and tied a few strands of the beautiful silver vine into her hair. It seemed to settle there, as if it had always belonged. Approaching the mirror from before, she gasped at the way she looked.

A smile began to creep onto her face, as she examined herself from every which way. Confidence blazing once more, she exited the room, making her way toward the main sitting room. She found Dúlinnor sitting on one of the seats in the room, and she cleared her throat briefly before offering the man a bright smile. "Well, what do you think?" She asked, as she did a small and slow promenade for him, turning fully around once so he could see the entire dress from all angles.

Her hair tumbled down around her shoulders, and passed her lower back, shining as bright as the silver that was woven into her hair. Reinette looked absolutely beautiful in the piece, the colors complimenting her fair skin and hair, her eyes standing out against all the light colors. It hugged her curves in all the right places, and she felt absolutely at ease in it.

She thought it would have been vain to admit it... But she felt absolutely ravishing in her ensemble. She felt like she could take on the world.

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Dúlinnor spent some time simply reading. In fact, he was not sure quite how long had passed before he heard the young woman clearing her voice. He immediately tore his eyes from the book and looked to the Mortal. As his eyes fell to the woman, he suddenly seemed to freeze as he took in her image. It was easy to see that she was in a better mood than earlier, something that Dúlinnor was glad of. "Well, what do you think?" Reinette asked, slowly moving. He continued to watch her.

She was absolutely stunning. A fool could see that. Not that he didn't think her lovely before. There was just something different about her now and he could not place it. He finally offered her a smile. "You are beautiful." He said, suddenly seeming to break out of the frozen state he'd been in when he'd first seen her. He sat the book down, rising from his seat.

He slowly approached her, his gaze never leaving her. Dúlinnor suddenly continued speaking. "I would also venture to say that you look as if you were meant to be here." He was unsure if she could understand what he meant though regardless he meant the words. It was not often that the Elves of Lothlórien welcomed a Mortal so easily within their Realm. However, Reinette truly looked as if she was one of them.

Dúlinnor turned from her then, slowly making his way over towards the door. "We should leave. I've no doubt that you are likely famished as Aglaron more than likely did not offer you anything to eat this morning." He said, glancing back to her. He opened the door though hesitated, waiting for the woman to join him. Only then did he offer his arm to her. He then began leading the way once again.

His parents did not live so close to him. It was something that Dúlinnor had made sure of. He'd decided that putting as much distance between them as possible was a good action. It had helped somewhat. Though it was still painfully clear to him that they favored Aglaron, they did not fight nearly as much as they had when he'd still been living with them. They began heading in the same direction that he'd led her earlier. "It will take us a short walk to arrive. I'm afraid that my family lives nearly on the other side of the city."

His voice was apologetic, aware that they would have to travel a bit to reach their destination. Dúlinnor, however, continued speaking with Reinette. He was glancing at her from time to time, still amazed at how lovely she was. He found himself in high spirits as they walked. Even though he was unsure of how this meeting would go.

As they soon neared his parents' home, Dúlinnor suddenly stopped, turning to look at Reinette as the beautifully crafted building lay before them not more than ten paces away. "Are you ready?" He asked her, looking at her. He waited for her to speak before turning and closing the distance to the door. He paused there, glancing to her once again before knocking. He could have simply gone in but since he had Reinette with him he decided that it was best to knock. A few short moments passed before the door opened, revealing a female Elf that was only slightly older looking than Dúlinnor. She had long, blonde hair that fell straight, reaching her lower back. She wore a simple dress though that did not hide her beauty.

At seeing Dúlinnor, the woman smiled happily. "Dúlinnor, I had worried that you would not come. Aglaron had told me of what has happened. It warms my heart to see you well. And this is the Mortal you found? She is lovely. You must tell me everything! I have never met one of her kind before. What's her name? What is she like?" Thurilostel was clearly happy to see Reinette which caused Dúlinnor to smile at her. "Of course I would come. Mother and Father would not be happy with me if I did not. This is Lady Reinette, Thurilostel. Perhaps you would like to keep her occupied while I speak with my parents and your husband?"

The female Elf nodded happily. She was Aglaron's wife and was clearly with child. However, still she was much interested in Reinette. Dúlinnor suddenly turned his attention to Reinette. "This is Thurilostel, Aglaron's wife. She is quite excited that you are joining us. She is wishing you to join her for a few moments. She speaks some Westron though you may have to be patient with her. She has not been learning the language for very long. I will return to you shortly." He said, smiling. It was then that Thurilostel moved, allowing the pair to enter the large home.

Dúlinnor took his leave from the women, leaving them alone for a few moments. He made his way through the home, quickly finding his mother. Dúlinnor took after the older Elf quite a bit. When he'd been a child the woman had favored him until Aglaron had begun gaining achievements. "Mother." Dúlinnor said softly, coming closer to her. The female Elf turned, smiling at her youngest son. "Dúlinnor, my child. It warms my heart to see you safe once again. Your brother has told me and your father all of which has transpired whilst you've been gone. And from the sound of it you've brought the Human with you. Your father will not be pleased with your actions. You know this."

He was at least glad that his mother did not sound too terribly angry with him. However, his father's voice soon sounded. "Your mother is right. Why would you spend any more time than you need to with someone like her? She will cause you nothing but sorrow and death should you continue down this path." Dúlinnor forced himself to remain calm, watching the older Elf steadily. "The Lady has granted Lady Reinette sanctuary within our Realm until such a time that she can leave. She has none in this world. She is alone. I could not simply just turn my back to her."

His father was suddenly close to him, the anger nearly radiating from him. Dúlinnor was certain that the others within the home could hear and he was only too glad that Reinette did not understand Elvish. "You are a fool to allow her within your home. Humans destroy everything that they touch.." His father was interrupted as Aglaron entered the room, speaking. "Father, I have already spoken to Dúlinnor on this matter. You needn't keep yelling at him. Especially with the woman so near. She will likely know that something is wrong."

Their father moved from the room suddenly, making his way from them. Aglaron placed a hand on Dúlinnor's shoulder, giving him a understanding gaze. The two brothers left their mother, heading to find the younger women. "I may not like the Mortal but your life is your own. I would only suggest you tread carefully, however. You are my brother and I only wish to make sure that you know what you're doing." Soon they'd come upon the dining room which was already set, Thurilostel already at the table. No doubt upon hearing the arguing earlier and had decided it was best for her and Reinette to get out of the way.

Dúlinnor would not look at either of them for the time being, instead taking a seat next to Reinette. He'd expected the anger from his father though it had not prepared him for it. It would only be a short time before the food was served and the oldest Elves would join them. Aglaron glanced to the human, merely nodding in her direction, finally offering her a small smile. "Will you tell your Mortal that she is lucky. I doubt that many would have stood up for her as you have done." He said to the younger male Elf. Dúlinnor simply shook his head. "She does not need to know. I would prefer that she not know just yet what happened. Please." Aglaron was clearly not pleased with his brother's words.

The brothers fell into silence and suddenly their mother entered the room. The woman began setting stuff down upon the table, several different foods. She then turned her gaze to Dúlinnor and then to Reinette. She felt badly for her son. He only ever acted so when he believed fully in something. She could not be angry with him and so offered a smile to the Mortal in hopes that her son would see. He did and the male Elf suddenly turned to Reinette. "This is my mother,Lady Amareth." He said, making sure that she understood that it best to refer to the elder woman in such formality. His father would arrive soon and he dreaded it though tried to hide it. His mother understood some Westron though could not speak it, so instead spoke to her son. He then turned his attention back to the woman at his side. "She says that it is an honor to have you in her home and that you are welcome here." His gaze was on her now, watching her. He hoped that she'd not realized that what exactly had happened but if she did..he would not lie to her.

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You are beautiful."

Reinette could feel the tinge of red tint her cheeks at Dúlinnor's words. His smile was brilliant, and he stood up to approach her. She couldn't help but smile back at him.

"I would also venture to say that you look as if you were meant to be here." His eyes were on her, and she turned her gaze down to her dress, before looking back up at him. Her smile reflected his own.

"Thank you..." Her voice trailed off. She didn't know what to say, but she could hear her heart beating in her ears.

Dúlinnor turned then, and made his way toward the door. Reinette followed after him as he spoke. "We should leave. I've no doubt that you are likely famished as Aglaron more than likely did not offer you anything to eat this morning." She hadn't really realized it - her day had been such a whirlwind of activity - but she felt like she was running on electricity, and while she was hungry, the excitement hadn't quiet worn off yet.

Dúlinnor opened the door, turning to offer his arm to her. Reinette gladly accepted, wrapping her own around his lightly, resting the palm of her hand against his forearm. With that, the two exited his flet, Reinette following Dúlinnor's lead.

"It will take us a short walk to arrive. I'm afraid that my family lives nearly on the other side of the city."

Reinette felt the twinge of pain rush through her heart at the sound of the word. 'Parents...' she thought sadly to herself, wishing that her own were somewhere, happy, no longer in pain. But she kept her smile, instead letting Dúlinnor's voice coax her back to the happiness she had felt earlier. It wasn't that she had lost it... Just the thought of her mother and father had dulled it slightly.

The pair talked as they went forward - Reinette asked questions about what the food would be like, what traditional dishes were. Just things to keep her mind occupied. She didn't notice the glances Dúlinnor sent her way, she was too busy watching the world around her, taking it all in.

Soon, a large and gorgeous home sat before them, and Reinette felt Dúlinnor stop. She ceased moving as well, looking into his eyes as he focused on her. "Are you ready?" he asked her. She nodded, answering him with a yes, wondering what on Earth she needed to be ready for.

They then turned back towards the door, and Dúlinnor knocked three times. It wasn't long before the door was opened, and Reinette felt like the air left her at the sight of the beautiful woman beyond the doorway. Her hair was long and blonde, and rivaled her own in length and fullness. She was dressed simply, but it didn't matter - she could have been wearing a trash bag and she would have been just as beautiful.

Reinette took in everything about the woman in front of her as she and Dúlinnor spoke. The Elven woman was drop dead gorgeous, and Reinette couldn't help but wonder who she was exactly.

Whatever they were saying ended with the woman nodding enthusiastically. Dúlinnor turned to Reinette, and the young woman turned to look at the male before her. "This is Thurilostel, Aglaron's wife. She is quite excited that you are joining us. She is wishing you to join her for a few moments. She speaks some Westron though you may have to be patient with her. She has not been learning the language for very long. I will return to you shortly."

Reinette nodded, turning to smile at Thurilostel. The two women moved into the home, Dúlinnor following behind. Dúlinnor left them, and Reinette followed Thurilostel to the sitting room. She motioned for Reinette to sit, and the two took seats near each other.

Thurilostel turned to take her in - her whole persona just seemed to smile. She opened her mouth after a second, paused, and then spoke. "Your dress..." she paused, smiling, seemingly searching for a word. "It is beautiful." She said after a moment. Reinette smiled, and waved her hand in a dismissive gesture, though she was very pleased.

"Thank you, Dúlinnor was so kind to get it for me..." She touched the fabric of the dress as it rested on her lap, smiling. "He is so kind..." She continued after a moment, looking up at Thurilostel. The other woman smiled brightly, seeming very curious at the foreign girl.

Thurilostel seemed to be searching for something to say, so Reinette broke the silence. "Congratulations... You must be very happy." She gestured to the rather pregnant woman in front of her, and Thurilostel smiled deeply.

"Thank you, your words... are kind. I am truly happy." There was a loud commotion from the other room, and both girls heads turned in the direction of the sound. Reinette wondered why the voice sounded so angry - she hoped nothing was her own fault.

Thurilostel was listening intently to what was being said, and she soon turned to the other woman. "Come. We will... take our seat." Reinette stood, following slowly behind Thurilostel to the dining room.

Dúlinnor soon entered the room, taking a seat next to Reinette. She looked at the Elf questioningly, but his face gave away nothing. So she turned to look at who she presumed was his mother as she entered the room. Dúlinnor introduced her, and Reinette bowed her head deeply to her before greeting her.

"This is my mother,Lady Amareth. She says that it is an honor to have you in her home and that you are welcome here."

"It is so nice to meet you, Lady Amareth." She smiled at the woman, who returned her smile. "Thank you for graciously accepting me to your home. It means a lot to me. I am honored to be here." The woman was setting the table, and Reinette turned wondering eyes to all the delicious looking foods being placed on the table.

She turned to Dúlinnor, offering him a smile. She caught Thurilostel's gaze on the way, and she could have sworn that she saw a twinkle of happiness and knowing in the woman's eyes. Reinette offered Aglaron a smile as well, fully intending on congratulating him after the dinner was over on the impending birth of his child. She knew that she didn't know them for long - she had only just met his wife - but Reinette had always been someone who loved children, and she was instantly happy for the future that they had.

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Reinette spoke and Dúlinnor was glad that the Human had picked up on his hint. His mother smiled at the woman. Though she did not approve..it was Dúlinnor's decision. "Thank you for graciously accepting me to your home. It means a lot to me. I am honored to be here." Reinette said. Amareth nodded to the young woman, as if trying to tell Reinette that she was glad to have Reinette there for however long she wished to remain. The woman continued setting the table and Aglaron spoke with his wife.

Suddenly, Dúlinnor noted Reinette moving and so he turned his head slightly so that he could look at her. She smiled at him and..he could not help but return the gesture. Though he was in a much more sour mood now, the woman at his side seemed able to make him forget about what had happened mere moments before. "Not speaking with her will not matter once father is here." Aglaron said as he returned Reinette's smile. Dúlinnor merely tilted his head slightly, almost as if he was thinking over his brother's words.

However, he did not have to answer before their father entered the room. Harnor was a tall, well built Elf. He had a head of pale colored hair and it was easy to see that he was a man that put up with little nonsense. His face was stern as his gaze moved about the room. Aglaron and Dúlinnor immediately stood, their heads bowed slightly as their father made his way to the head of the table. "Greetings, father." The brothers both chorused as if it was rehearsed. Harnor did not comment, instead taking his seat. Only then did Aglaron and Dúlinnor take their seats once again.

"This is my father, Lord Harnor.." Dúlinnor had tried speaking to Reinette when the older Elf interrupted. "Dúlinnor tells me about you, child." He said, his gaze settling on Reinette. "I do not know you nor your full story yet I will not lie to you. During my time with the Wardens have brought me little love for Men." The older Elf was gathering food onto his plate as the rest of the family slowly joined in as well. "They are weak and bring nothing but death with them."

Suddenly he was looking at her, as if he was trying to frighten her away from his son. "That is enough." Dúlinnor said, his gaze slowly moving to his father. The tension could be felt throughout the room though the Elven women knew not to interfere. It was not often that Dúlinnor would defend himself or someone else against his father. The older Elf had once been Marchwarden a very long time ago. He'd been through much war and had met with many of the races that lived in their world. He'd only left due to an injury that had left him with a shake of the left arm when he tried to use it.

"You would speak against me?" Harnor said, almost unbelieving. "Your father..the one that has stood behind you throughout your life?" Dúlinnor was looking down, thinking. "I would like to finish this meal civilly and then you can go back to treating me like the disappointment that I know you see me as. You won't see us again. I am sorry to have bothered you." Dúlinnor finally said, annoyance crossing his features.

Amareth was suddenly looking worriedly at her youngest. Aglaron suddenly began speaking with his father, trying to salvage the evening. There was no reason for their father to be acting so. Yes, Reinette was a Human but it was clear that already Dúlinnor held care for her. Even if the younger Elf did not realize it yet. It was likely that...which bothered their father more than the fact that he'd opened his home to a Mortal.

Slowly, the meal began to pick up and happy voices soon began around him. Dúlinnor barely partook in conversation. Aglaron even tried to gain his brother's attention but failed. He cast a worried glance to Reinette. He somehow doubted that the younger Elf had informed Reinette of the troubles that they had within their family.

The meal passed much too slowly for Dúlinnor's liking. His father made a point to ignore him and Reinette though he'd suspected that would be the case. The moment that the meal was over, Dúlinnor rose as did Aglaron. The brothers began helping to clear the table and their mother was soon up as well, moving about. Harnor had turned his gaze to Reinette. "Do not mistake my words for cruelty. It is merely my experiences in the past that cause my distrust of you. Dúlinnor has far too soft a heart. I would not see my son suffer because of you. It would be best if he parted ways with you. However..I cannot force him to do so. And so, I suppose that I must get used to the fact that you shall be around for now. He is angry with me. That I know. Perhaps you will tell him that it is not necessary for the two of you to stay away. I..suppose it would be nice to have a new face around." It was the best apology that Harnor could give the woman.

Dúlinnor, once finishing helping his mother had moved from the others, making his way back into his old bedroom. Nothing had changed. It looked as it had before he'd left. Neat and tidy, filled with many items that his mother had deemed to keep. He was rather unsure why she'd kept their rooms the same. He slowly moved through the room, gently taking a seat on the bed. He leaned over, his elbows resting on his knees. He placed his head in his hands, nearly hiding his face. He took a deep breath, trying to calm down. He feared that Reinette would want to leave him, to go somewhere else after his father's cruel words. For some reason that he could not explain he did not wish for her to go. He was already finding that he enjoyed her presence. He knew that he should not have left her alone in there with his family though he suspected that eventually she would find him..or rather, Thurilostel would likely send the Mortal in the right direction once the other Elves broke away for the evening.

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It wasn't long before Dúlinnor's father entered the room, and Reientte couldn't tear her eyes from the man. He seemed to command power around him wherever he moved, intimidating in his own right. Dúlinnor and his brother stood from the table, but Thurilostel stayed seated, so Reinette decided that she ought to as well. One their father sat, they did as well.

Reinette's eyes traveled across the table to gaze upon the man who had just joined them as Dúlinnor spoke. "This is my father, Lord Harnor..." He was almost immediately cut off by his father.

"Dúlinnor tells me about you, child. I do not know you nor your full story yet I will not lie to you. During my time with the Wardens have brought me little love for Men. They are weak and bring nothing but death with them." Reinette felt his words like the swift hand of a slap to the face or a fist to the gut. They seemed to knock the breath right out of her, unexpectedly. Numbly, she slowly put some food onto her plate as the rest of the family took their turns. Her eyes had turned away from the Elf and were focused on her plate instead, her thoughts empty, safe for a few choice thoughts.

'Men bring nothing but death?' she thought. She wondered what Men of this world were like, then. She doubted she wanted to meet any, if that were the case. Bitterly, she thought to herself that men weren't much different on Earth either.

...But there were the kind ones too. The ones who did good.

She ate slowly as Dúlinnor seemed to snap at his father.

"You would speak against me? Your father... the one that has stood behind you throughout your life?" The words were angry, and more Elven words flowed between the two, before Aglaron jumped into the conversation, apparently steering it in a different sort of direction. Dúlinnor fell silent, eating his food. Reinette looked up to Aglaron and his wife; the male cast him a worried look, and Reinette looked over briefly to Dúlinnor. Somehow, she felt as if this were all her fault, and a disappointment in herself had begun to seep into her skin.

The group continued to eat, Reinette and Dúlinnor remaining mostly silent. Soon as they had finished eating, Dúlinnor and Aglaron cleared the table. Reinette sat in her seat, watching after the brothers, before the familiar feeling of eyes on her caused her to look toward Harnor.

The older Elf began to speak. "Do not mistake my words for cruelty. It is merely my experiences in the past that cause my distrust of you. Dúlinnor has far too soft a heart. I would not see my son suffer because of you. It would be best if he parted ways with you. However... I cannot force him to do so. And so, I suppose that I must get used to the fact that you shall be around for now. He is angry with me. That I know. Perhaps you will tell him that it is not necessary for the two of you to stay away. I... suppose it would be nice to have a new face around."

A small and light, yet sad smile seemed to touch her face. She remained silent for a moment before speaking. "I suppose I understand your feelings..." She paused, looking down at her hands which were clasped in her lap, before looking back up at him again. "I never meant to cause any problems... It wasn't my intention." She desperiately hoped that he believed her. "This place is so new to me. Everything. The whole of Middle Earth. It's obsurd to hear, I suppose. But I was never supposed to be here, and if your son hadn't found me... hadn't helped me..." She paused, her breath seeming to catch in her throat.

She could feel the bite and sting of tears that threatened to show, and she inhaled sharply, begging them not to spill. Once she was sure she wouldn't cry, she spoke again. "I would greatly like to be able to return... Without Dúlinnor, I'd be alone. For him, I am thankful. For all kindness shown to me, I am thankful..." She looked around the room before taking her eyes back to Harnor. "Familiar faces are something I long for right now. Familiar faces give me hope..."

She would have been begging for pity if she told him her full situation, and that was something she didn't want. She didn't want him to pity her. She just wanted him to understand that her intentions were nothing but good, from the very start. She wanted him to understand that she wasn't like whoever he had met in his travels, simply because she was totally unlike any person in the entirely of Middle Earth. At the very least, she wanted him to know that she was thankful for all kindness shown to her, and that she would never do anything to harm any ties she made.

After a while, Reinette excused herself from the table. She made sure to thank Dúlinnor's mother for a delicious meal. The Elven woman seemed rather pleased that Reinette had enjoyed the meal, and guided the younger girl to the sitting room. Thurilostel was back in the sitting room, her hand resting on one of the chairs next to Aglaron. Dúlinnor's mother left them in the room together, and Reinette's demeanor immediately brightened at the sight of Thurilostel. Turning to Aglaron, she smiled at him. "I already told Thurilostel, but... Congratulations." Her eyes seemed to smile by themselves, and she tucked some stray golden locks behind her ear. She knew that Algaron didn't seem to understand Westron, but she figured his wife could explain it to him.

Reinette herself had thought about being a parent at various times in her life. She loved children, so she was entirely curious about Elven children. But she kept her thoughts to herself. She figured that if Thurilostel and herself became closer, then she would find out soon enough...

She so hoped that she and Thurilostel would become close. It seemed so perfect to have another female nearby. Especially one who seemed as kind as the woman before her.

The group made small talk for a while, Thurilostel practicing her Westron, seemingly happy to have the opportunity. But Reinette wondered where Dúlinnor was, and it seemed Thurilostel could tell what she was thinking.

"Follow the hall, please. You will find him," the Elven woman said after a moment, a smile on her face. Reinette thanked her, and did as she was instructed, eventually coming to an open door. She stood in the doorway for a moment, just watching the Elf. He sat on a bed, his head in his hands. She felt a pang in her heart at the thought that he was frustrated or upset. She knew it had to do with her - she just had a feeling.

Quietly moving into the room - she didn't even bother to knock, because she simply didn't care one way or another - she made her way over to the bed, and gently took a seat next to him.

She was quiet for a moment, before she spoke, a wry smile on her face. "I guess you can't be too mad at him. He's your dad... You'll forgive him eventually. We all do... That's the thing about fathers." Her gaze turned to Dúlinnor then, and she smiled truly at him. She nudged him slightly in the shoulder with her own, hoping to at least get a smile from him.

"I didn't mean to cause any trouble between you and your father..." She said after a moment, turning to look at her own hands in her lap. "Truly, I wasn't expecting it." But she seemed to smile anyway. "Even if he doesn't like me much now, I hope that one day he will. Maybe Men of this world are terrible, but the thing is... First, I'm not from this world. And second... I'm not a man. I'm a woman." It was a joke - she knew the referral of Man meant humans in general, but she couldn't help but want to see him smile.