3. Chapter 3
“It is beautiful,” Galadriel commented unnecessarily, with something like regret in her voice, as she leaned from the streambank and let her fingertips trail in the icy water. There were echoes of Lorien in the woods of Doriath, and it made her almost homesick.
“What’s the matter?” Celeborn prompted, as if percieving her unspoken thoughts. Melian had dressed her guest in a white gown, and Galadriel’s hair shone like the sun rising over a snowy mountain.
Galadriel ignored his query, and looked up to the canopy as she straightened. “You should bring your young pupil here to study. The quiet might settle her.”
Celeborn laughed his lovely laugh again, and leaned back against the mossy tree-trunk. “Luthien? Study in the forest? She’d be chasing butterflies and dancing to the birdsong in no time. Believe me, I’ve tried… No, she stays more focused on her tasks indoors.” He too let his gaze drift up to the treetops, and the shafts of sunlight painting the forest floor with their warm hues. “I truly can’t blame her though. One could spend centuries with these trees,” he murmured thoughtfully after a moment. “And I intend to…”
Galadriel fixed her gaze on him suddenly, and he blinked at the sharpness of it.
“And yet,” she began, “the world moves outside the protection of Melian and the safety of Menegroth. It is folly to ignore it.”
“Indeed,” Celeborn agreed. “As well as this indescribable beauty, there exists fear and hate, and darkness beyond what I could comprehend…”
Galadriel raised an eyebrow as if he’d just stated something very obvious.
“I have learned the crafts of swordplay and archery…I have slain orcs and battled goblins at the borders of Doriath. But I am no warrior,” he said quietly, looking at his ink-stained hands. “Perhaps you think me weak.” He raised his eyes to meet hers.
“Curiously enough,” Galadriel began slowly, “I do not.”
A smile spread over Celeborn’s beautiful features, and he stood and moved to her side at the streambank. “Finrod and the sons of Feänor go forth to battle the forces of Morgoth, while Celeborn is content to teach runes and lore to a little princess and wander the woods of Doriath. But Galadriel does not scorn him for this?” He sat beside her, eyes very serious.
Galadriel smiled at him. “Why is that?” she asked.
Celeborn laughed. “Perhaps you ought to be explaining it to me.”
“Give it a try. I’ll let you know how close you are.”
Taking a deep breath, Celeborn looked again at his hands, his expression serious once more, then out into the forest. “I suppose…I am just too fond of beauty and of peace. Should it become necessary, I will fight to protect this peace with all of my strength and all of my will. But while I can, I would rather help to build it and make it prosper.” He looked back to her. “Something like that?” he inquired with a half-smile.
Galadriel, who had been intent on the pieces of azure sky visible through the treetops, met his gaze and returned his smile. She’d smiled before, but this time it seemed softer, somehow. Not polite, or forced, or even merely amused…and it lit her face as brightly as the late afternoon sun did her hair.
“Something like that.”
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.