The morning dawned clear, with no sign of rain. Small beams of light came twinkling down through the trees as I slowly sat up, rubbing my eyes and looking around to see where Telir had gone. It was apparent that he had woke long before me and begun to prepare for the rest of the journey into the center of Lothlorien. Haldir was nowhere to be seen, but I doubted that would last for long.
“Are you awake, Maeve?” Telir’s voice came drifting up to me from the forest floor as I sat there, still a bit sleepy. Carefully, I somehow was able to scoot over to the edge of the flet and look down to where he was standing. It did not surprise me that the horses were all ready to leave. Telir had never been one to linger in one place for very long.
“Yes, I am.” I replied as I grabbed my bow from where I had lay it the night before. It did not take me long at all to shimmy down the fragile rope ladder and jump upon my horse. The fact that I did not even have breakfast hardly bothered me. It had not been the first time and I had learned to do without when I had to.
The rest of the morning passed by quickly as we journeyed closer and closer to the home of the Lord and Lady. I continued to recognize various landmarks along the way. We passed very close to the swimming hole that I had visited constantly throughout my childhood and also a tree that I used to climb whenever I was feeling worried or angry. It brought back a great deal of painful memories, mostly of my sister.
“For ever and ever?” I asked as I knelt underneath the shade of an unusually large tree. A gentle blanket of leaves rested underneath me as I stared into the shining blue eyes of my sister. She smiled and clasped my hand in her own, then drew me close in a gentle embrace. I tried to smile as well, but my mouth couldn’t manage it. Every bone in my body wanted me to burst into tears.
“Yes, Maeve. For ever and ever.” She said with a tearful grin. “You can always come to visit me. I’m sure that Mother shan’t mind.” I tried to remember all the good times that we had together. All the times where we had giggled over some of the rather good looking male elves, gone swimming together, climbed practically every tree in the whole forest…I couldn’t hold it back any longer. A single tear slipped out of the edge of my eye.
Slowly, I drew away from her and brushed the tear away on the long sleeve of my dress. I didn’t want to think about her leaving for any longer. Honestly, I did not know what I would do without her by my side. Ever since I was little we had been the best of friends. Yet now she was off to be married to an elf lord. He was kind to me, but I secretly loathed him for taking my sister from me.
“I will. I promise I will come, as often as I can.” I said furiously, more to myself than to her. She smiled once more and we both stood to our feet, our hands still lightly linked. The moon was full up in the sky and all the stars twinkled overhead as I mentally said goodbye to her. Her future husband was due to come tomorrow to take her to her new home in Rivendell.
“Celebrían! Maeve!” The voice of our mother drifted out over the silent forest as we stood there, almost unwilling to move. It had grown quite late and it was obvious that the night was drawing to a close. Slowly, I could feel Celebrían tugging on my hand and urging me to come back home. I did not want to go. I wanted to spend the whole night outside with her, talking until dawn and right until the moment where she would hop upon her mare and bid Lothlorien farewell.
She departed sometime early the next morning. I watched as she disappeared into the forest, my mother standing beside me and gently reminding me not to follow her. I was still too young to journey into the forest unaccompanied. This was a journey that my elder sister had to make on her own. That had been made very clear to me.
I never saw her again. The offer to visit her in Rivendell was always open, but I was never willing to undertake the journey. I also admit that my mother did not wish for me to travel so far away, seeing as I was really the only daughter she still was able to hold close to her. In the year 2509, she left to come to visit us in Lorien.
She never arrived. Captured and tortured by orcs, it was her two sons that saved her. But she was never the same. I never even got the chance to see her before she passed over to the west, dimished and only a flicker of the past flame that had been strong in my life. Every single tree in this forest reminded me of her.
“It would do you good to pay closer attention to your surroundings, milady.” The smug voice of Haldir mounted upon a chestnut horse greeted me as I jerked my head up. I had been smart enough to secure the hood over my face again before we left in the morning and I was now glad of it. The look on his face was just as usual, though an odd spark rested in his eyes. I automatically glanced around for Telir, who was nowhere to be found.
“I do pay attention. Where is my companion?” I questioned, considering reaching for my bow but deciding against it. Without Telir, it would be almost impossible to escape. Though I did loathe the look upon Haldir’s face. Something nagging me in the back of my mind urged me to just push my horse into a gallop and get as far away as I could. I ignored it.
“He went off with some of my men. Do not fear, he shall not be harmed.” Haldir said as he reached into the side of his saddlebag and withdrew a medium sized piece of parchment. “But I don’t suppose you would recognize this elleth, would you?” I gasped as I stared into a portrait of a pretty young elf girl with long, wavy blond hair. Her crystal eyes sparkled in the sunlight as she laughed, obviously happy and perfectly content with all that was around her.
It was me.
“Speechless? Well, it wouldn’t hurt me at all to read you some of this, would it?” I didn’t respond to him. The shock was just too much. I even remember the day that portrait had been painted. An almost identical one of Celebrían had been painted on that very same day. According to my mother, it still hung in the great hall of Rivendell, a tribute to her.
“Missing, the daughter of Galadriel and Celeborn. Any information leading to the safe return of Maeve of Lothlorien shall be repaid in any way that the informant wishes.” Haldir cleared his throat and smiled at me. I felt my throat run dry. It was impossible for him to know. How had he known? I had been so careful…
His hand slowly reached up and lowered my hood. I did not attempt to turn my head towards the ground, seeing as if was already too late. A bit of concern lay furrowed deep in his brow as he rubbed a smudge of dirt off my face. My face remained stone hard as he touched me, though I did not draw away.
“You’ve changed, my dear.” He said. I snorted. Of course I had changed. Two hard years with the rangers had hardly done much to improve the complexion or temperament of an elvish princess. Most especially after almost dying and spending most of her days running wild through Middle Earth. But I did not say any of that.
“Please, don’t touch me.” I said as I pulled away. “Will you tell anyone that I am here?” That was the most important question that was lurking in my mind. Haldir could receive a great payment from my parents if he were to tell them where I was. That was really the last thing that I wanted.
“No. They still suspect me, you know.” I sighed. A large part of me still blamed Haldir for the accident. Having him tell me that my parents would not know of my coming did not lessen my hate towards him. I knew that my parents blamed him as well, mostly because he was the last person to see me before I disappeared.
“Then there is no need for us to continue this conversation.” I said as I steered my horse away from his. “Where is Telir?” I hoped to get a straight answer out of him. Since my parents would be sure to recognize me, I needed Telir to go in and deliver the message to them.
“He is waiting right beyond the next clearing. I told him that all I wanted to do was talk to you for a moment.” Haldir answered. I nodded and loosened the reins, allowing my horse to gallop away from his without so much as a farewell.
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.