18. The Moonlight and the Shadow
Darkness filled the cave as the unsuspecting March warden slept soundly. He felt safe this far inside the border of his beautiful Golden Woods. No enemy had ever gotten this far into Lothlorien. He walked the relaxing realm of Elven reverie. Dreaming of his favorite glade next to the river, with a beautiful sky and a bottle of the really good wine he liked most. And flowers sprinkled softly through the grass and bees … a damn loud set of bees … like a giant swarm of bees … why bees?
The strange sound began to work its way into his sleeping mind. It vibrated his whole body like he was laying on a swarm of angry bees. It made no sense, but it did not overly alarm him as it probably should have. BEES? Why bees? Not wanting to wake from his relaxed and comfortable slumber, yet unable to get the strange vibrating noise out of his thoughts, Haldir sighed deeply and began to turn over, trying to diligently ignore the distinctive hum buzzing near him.
Two things jolted him awake at that moment. One was the strange slime that dripped down the side of his neck in thick streams and the Second was the extremely heavy, warm weight keeping him firmly in place. Opening his eyes quickly, the March warden of Lothlorien beheld a peculiar and decidedly dangerous sight much to his disgusted amazement.
Legolas began making his way to the other members of the Fellowship, intent on bringing the good news of the ranger's waking. He had been so worried, even with the Lady's assurance that Fire was just sorting out her feelings and would soon rejoin them in the real world. The elf's own feelings toward the ranger had deepened beyond what he expected or dreamed of. It surprised Legolas that he could harbor such tenderness towards Fire, who was usually so tough to get along with and was unlike any elleth he had ever known. He had admitted, though only to himself, that he was extremely jealous of the attention that the damn March warden had been paying to HIS ranger. He knew once Fire was out of bed, he was going to wage a campaign to win her heart and soul. If the March warden again tried to come between him and Fire, Legolas had no qualms about defending HIS mate from the overbearing Galadhrim of Lorien.
Aragorn and Gimli shared an amused grin, when they saw the range of raw emotions crossing their friend's usually passive face. The frown creasing Legolas' brow gave way to an extremely wide and happy smile as he saw his friends. Aragorn spoke as the elf joined the two friends, "My friend what brings you away from the side of our sleeping companion? Have you finally decided to leave her to the protection of the March warden's capable hands, while you spend some time with us?"
The dark look and blazing blue eyes that the elf directed at Aragorn, when he mentioned the March warden, had poor Gimli nearly choking to death, from trying to stifle his laughter. "That arrogant Galadhrim had best stay far away from Fire, after the way he treated her. She is under my protection! No harm shall come to her while I still draw breath, and Haldir of Lorien will not lay a hand on her again, unless he wishes to deal with me.", the elf growled with all the ferocity of a wounded warg.
"AHH! So that is the way of it, my friend. I had not realized your feelings ran so strong for the elleth. I am glad to see you taking an interest in something that does not involve war or archery. She is a treasure worth keeping, even if she may be more reckless and wild then you. If she feels the same for you it is a gift worth cherishing and you will need to hold fast to each other in these dark times. If she will let you, my friend, as she tends to be quite stubborn and opinionated.", Aragorn replied laughingly, as he watched a blush creep up to the tips of his friend's pointed ears, when the elf realized just how much of his feelings he had given away with his outburst.
"That you are no longer at the lassie's side and can not seem to stop grinning like you found a large mithril vein; I take to mean that she has awakened.", Gimli's gruff, yet happy, voice echoed around the encampment and brought delighted squeals from the two youngest hobbits, big smiles from the two older hobbits and a relieved smile from Boromir. Frowning down at the two exuberant hobbits, who were chattering like enraged squirrels and jumping around the elf in glee, Legolas informed them they could visit the ranger IF they behaved in a quieter and calmer manner. The two men and the Dwarf smiled indulgently at the smaller beings, as they gave their word of honor to be on their best behavior and asked the elf to lead the way. Turning, with a last lift of his eyebrow at the Hobbits, Legolas led the rest of the Fellowship to Fire's talan; just a tad reluctantly.
Some thing troubled the Lord of Imlandris. A nagging suspicion that he was missing something important. He was remembering what Galadriel had told him of the white leopard with golden eyes. That it had been Fire defending the Fellowship, Elrond had no doubt. Her protective instincts were well honed and would have led her to ascertain the Lorien Elves intentions without bringing harm to any. That the way of finding out such intentions included a risky and flamboyant tactic was just like that wild child of his. She had taken to terrorizing the inhabitant of Imlandris, especially Erestor and Glorfindel, and had even gone after the Twins a time or two. He had to laugh at the peculiar scene his mind created of Haldir and Fire's encounter. Knowing Haldir well, the Lord of Imlandris could well picture the indignant face of the very arrogant and prideful March warden as he was being forcefully detained by a Feline.
Thinking of Felines, Elrond let his mind wander over his vision again. The Feline in his vision was black with silver eyes, not white with gold. Black instead of white. Silver not gold eyes. What was the connection he was not making? A discreet knock on the door turned his mind absently to the new arrival. "Ah Erestor, I find myself puzzled beyond mere words. I know I am missing some small piece of this confusing puzzle, but I can not seem to put my finger on what. There is the Feline in my dream attacking the Prince of Mirkwood. It is black with silver eyes and silver splotches on it's hindquarters and then I have a description from Galadriel of Fire's Feline form which is white with golden eyes. It can not be a coincidence two Felines of such opposite coloring should be here in Middle Earth after near two millennium. Is the Feline of my vision one of the Cat People? I can see no other reason it should attack Legolas unless it is to stop the rings destruction. Such direct opposites! Black to White. Silver to Gold. I am sorry to ramble like this, old friend. What is it that I can do for you?", Elrond sighed dejectedly, swiveling to face his Chief Advisor.
The look of sheer concentration on Erestor's face made the Elf Lord frown. He watched as Erestor walked to the bookshelves lining the study walls from floor to ceiling, "Once of silver twice of gold … Humm Once of silver Twice of …. I have it !! The Prophecy! It was one I used to try to figure out when I was a youngling. Here it is:
Once of Silver Twice of Gold
Bring Forth the Ones of Old
Dark as Night
Bright as Light
Fate Serves our Plight
From days Beyond
And times Unmeasured
Come to Our Sight
Our Greatest Treasured
Twice of Heart Once of Mind
Leave Tears Behind
Through Danger's Tomorrow
Be Not of Sorrow
Be Not of Pain
Open hearts will be thy gain
Look Fear in the Eye
Stare Death in the Face
With love to guide
In that Gentle Place
What Once was Two
Is now Replaced
But not in haste
Life once Lost
A Souls renew
Not High the Cost
For each is true
This reminds me of the two Felines, Dark as Night Bright as Light …. Black and white. Once of silver Twice of Gold …. Silver eyes and gold eyes. It is the prophecy of Moonlight and Shadow. It dates back to just after the first War of the Rings when the ring was cut from Sauron's hand by Aragorn's ancestor. The thing that confuses me Elrond, is I always believed that the Moonlight and the Shadow were Forgotten Ones destined to work together to save Middle Earth. Your vision foretells of the Shadow cat attacking Legolas. Can it be wrong, this vision you saw? Could it be the Shadow cat is helping him in some way?", Erestor argued heatedly, warming to his subject matter as always. "Sadly, my friend, the vision I saw was of an attack, not a rescue, by the black Feline. I fear you are correct and this is exactly the puzzle piece I have been looking for. I will meditate and hope to see a clearer vision, but do not dare to hope I will see anymore." Leaving Erestor to his own devices and thoughts, Elrond made for the safety and quiet of his private chambers still mulling over the vision, the prophecy's words and what it would mean for all of Middle Earth, if the Moonlight and the Shadow turned from each other.
This is a work of fan fiction, written because the author has an abiding love for the works of J R R Tolkien. The characters, settings, places, and languages used in this work are the property of the Tolkien Estate, Tolkien Enterprises, and possibly New Line Cinema, except for certain original characters who belong to the author of the said work. The author will not receive any money or other remuneration for presenting the work on this archive site. The work is the intellectual property of the author, is available solely for the enjoyment of Henneth Annûn Story Archive readers, and may not be copied or redistributed by any means without the explicit written consent of the author.