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Reflections of a Took: The Aftermath of Moria - by Narya

Disclaimer: I do not own the characters, events, settings, etc for The Lord of the Rings.

This story was written for entertainment purposes only. Suggestions or comments may be sent to me at: Vanwaistari@aol.com

Note: This story takes place after the Company escapes from Moria.



Wearied from the horrors of Moria, Peregrin Took settled down by a massive tree, as the rest of the Company set up a small camp. Both Aragorn and Boromir took the first watch.

Pippin leaned against the tree, reflecting on what happened in the dreaded mines…trying to think what really led to…Gandalf’s death. The journey into Moria seemed doomed from the start. First the creature that attacked them from the lake, then the dead dwarves found in the mines, and then…the armor falling down the well, clanging and banging. Pippin winced. Had he caused Gandalf’s death? Had his foolishness disturbed that horrible beast? Hot tears burned down his cheeks. Exhaustion finally took over and he fell into darkness.

Pippin found himself traveling down a great river. The current was strong. He could not change the course of his canoe. Sounds and voices rose from the wooded areas along the bank of the river.

There was the unmistakable sound of armor clanging down a well, followed by the sound of drums and screaming orcs. Fire and shadow rose. Armor clanging. Gandalf falling. Armor clanging. "Fool of a Took!" Armor clanging. "Fool of a Took!"

The river moved faster and spiraled in an eddy. Pippin wanted to jump out of the canoe, but fear gripped him. "Fool of a Took!"

"And a greater fool you shall be if you continue on this path," bellowed a familiar voice.

Pippin looked about in horror, but he did not see the wizard.

The sounds and voices ceased their taunting. The current slowed. A hand gently touched his shoulder.

Pippin froze. Slowly, he turned to see Gandalf behind him, wrapped in his usual grey cloak.

"Do not be afraid, Peregrin Took! I have not come to bring judgment. No, I have come to help you."

Pippin’s eyes widened in horror and he trembled.

"Go to the bank over there," replied the wizard. "You will find that the river is not so rough. This course you are taking will not avail you."

The halfling paused and rowed the boat towards the shore. It bumped slightly on the sand.

"I’m sorry," said Pippin, as he climbed out of the boat. "It was my fault…you’re meeting with the orcs and that beast."

Gandalf climbed out of the boat. He leaned on his staff and knelt down. The wizard placed a hand on Pippin’s shoulder. "Maybe. Maybe not. Though I think a greater force was at work other than an inquisitive Took. You unknowingly played a small part, Peregrin, though you did not orchestrate it."

The halfling looked at Gandalf. A small smile formed on the wizard’s face. Pippin threw himself into Gandalf’s arms and cried. The wizard rubbed the halfling’s back and spoke to him in a gentle voice.

"Despair is like a poisonous blade, Peregrin," replied Gandalf. "The more you listen to it, the deeper it cuts, and the more it poisons you. You shut yourself down, bit by bit. You won’t turn into a wraith, but you’ll be left open to things much worse than wraiths."

Pippin looked at him wide eyed. "Then where do I find hope?"

The wizard smiled. "You do not find hope, Peregrin. You give it to those around you."

Pippin looked down. "But it seems the only thing I can give is grief and trouble. If it hadn’t been for that incident at the well, then you would still be with us."

Gandalf’s face hardened and his voice was stern. "If you continue to talk like this, I shall become quite angry with you! Then you will have a true reason to be upset!"

Pippin pulled back. Then he saw a sparkle in the wizard’s eyes. "Far be it from me to try the patience of a wizard," replied Pippin. "What must I do to escape the wrath of Gandalf?"

A small smile brightened Gandalf’s face. "You would be wise to listen and trust in what I am telling you." The wizard looked intently at the halfling. "You must not give into despair, Peregrin. The company needs strength. What the Enemy cannot destroy from without, he will try to destroy from within. He has many snares. Despair is his chief tool. Do not give it passage."

Pippin thought about what Gandalf had told him. Indeed, despair seemed the greatest when he thought most of his own failings. Perhaps if he could help the others instead of focusing on his faults…

"Gandalf?" he asked, noticing that the wizard was gone.

A dim light was increasing in the East.

Something shook him. "Come along, Pippin," said a voice.

He opened his eyes and saw Aragorn looking down at him. Pippin noticed the deep lines on his face. "Time to move on," replied Aragorn. Pippin nodded. He stretched and looked about at the Company. All of them were tired and saddened, yet all of them continued.

"Right, then," he said to himself, as he got up to join the others on their way to Lothlorien.


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