Where the Shadow Lies: 10. Promises Made

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10. Promises Made

Sunlight played across Aragorn's eyelids. He opened them and found himself high in the branches of the giant mellyrn on a flet of exceeding beauty. A gossamer canopy protected him from sun and weather; ornate glass globes hanging on silver chains held scented candles. Soft cream blankets covered the couch he lay on. He was dressed in a fine lawn shirt and white trousers, a white and gold embroidered tunic, rich fabric fit for a king of old, lay folded on a chest nearby. He touched his forehead and found a circlet of intricately woven gold set with crystals of adamant.

Aragorn was sure he had gone to sleep amid the roots in his modest bed. He tried to remember the night. It had been undisturbed by dreams, the first such night since leaving Mordor three months ago. He had no idea how he had arrived in the flet in these clothes. He arose and descended the stairs, confused by the respectful bows of every elf he passed. Lady Galadriel awaited him at their foot. She inclined her head in deference.

"My lord Elessar." He looked at her in wonderment. Galadriel had been remote to him on this stay in Lothlorien. He knew she felt the taint of Mordor on him and he recognized her doubt that he was fit for ruling or for Arwen. He no longer had the self-assurance to convince her she was mistaken.

"Lady, what is this?" Aragorn gestured at his clothing and the flet above them. She smiled enigmatically.

"Raiment and lodging as befits a king. Later, we shall talk. Now, my granddaughter awaits you on Cerin Amroth." She led him between the trees to the open hill crowned with birches.

As he approached, he saw Arwen standing on the hill, white blossoms falling around her. She was dressed as richly as he, her ebony hair loose and lifted by the wind, her blue gown embroidered with silver leaves. She waited for him there. As he came to her, she pressed him into her arms with such power and passion, he was left dizzy.

"It's Midsummer's Day, my lord. You've kept your promise to meet me." She caught his hand and smiled deep into his eyes. "I told you once we would walk under the mallorn and birches. And I have a present for you." She opened her free hand. On her palm lay two silver rings: Elven betrothal bands. To his astonishment and before he could protest, Arwen began to speak the ages old words of betrothal that would bind them together forever.

"I, Arwen, will hold true to you, Aragorn, in this land and in others, in Westernesse and for all time. I give you this token to seal my vow." She slid one band on his left index finger. Confused and delighted, Aragorn felt he must be dreaming, or perhaps he'd died. He knew he should speak to Elrond first, knew his foster-father strictly forbade their betrothal until Sauron was defeated, knew no mortal man except the anointed king of Arnor and Gondor could hope to wed the Evenstar, but Aragorn could not help being carried away on this strange tide. He stared at the band she held out for him and taking it, heard his voice answering her.

"I, Aragorn, pledge myself to you, Arwen. To protect and cherish you. To bind myself to you and none other, even unto death… I give you this token to seal my vow." He still stared at the delicately graven silver band he somehow with trembling fingers had placed upon her hand, and then bent his head and kissed her.

"Ada…" he began. She laid a finger on his lips.

"Ada will accept this. He will understand. And if not, you shall die happy."

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.

Story Information

Author: sindarinelvish

Status: General

Completion: Complete

Era: 3rd Age - The Stewards

Genre: Action

Rating: General

Last Updated: 08/01/06

Original Post: 08/01/06

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