7. Chapter Seven
They meant to wait another day, give Haldirriel time to recover from the horror of her dream, but she would not hear of it. When she was told the Lady requested her presence, she insisted they leave the same day.
Walking through the woods, seeing the golden leaves upon the trees, Haldir felt her fëa calm; it released the tension he felt and he relaxed. They walked quietly, savoring the fading beauty of Lórien, speaking in whispers, listening to the trees.
He wanted to hold her hand, but Legolas strode between them. He swallowed nervously. Trusting Legolas was becoming more and more difficult. Longing for the Wood Elf mixed with his love for Haldirriel. Trusting himself was even more difficult.
He found himself watching them both and realized that a hunger for each was upon him. He closed his eyes, hoping the feeling would dissipate, but it did not. He had stopped, but they continued on, not noting his absence as Haldirriel pointed out a new leaf pattern or stopped to listen to the sound of a waterfall or watched a bird foraging for food.
He watched them moving, their lithe footsteps, their smooth-muscled calves; his cock stirred. Perhaps if he ran on ahead? They had stopped and he blushed, hoping neither would notice his agitated state. 'Agitated!' he thought wryly. 'That is not the only thing I hope they do not notice!'
She walked towards him, a smile upon her face. "My beloved. Why do you tarry? Do you sense danger? The Lady awaits, does she not?"
He cleared his throat. The glow in her eyes bid him tarry, but for reasons other than a mere pause in their journey. He pulled her to him. "You are a vixen. We cannot stop. She does wait, but I would have you now, laid down upon a layer of leaves, your body next to mine," he whispered. "And I would take you fully." He tried to kiss her, but she moved away.
"Do not tempt me, sweet one, for I would the same. But the Lady awaits and I would deign to meet her at last. For a part of your heart has been given to her. Sometimes I think even above the part you gave to me?" Her smile did not reach her eyes. "Have you lain with her?"
He blushed full, his face taking on the hue of Anor at its setting. Surprise and shock overcame him. "I..." he sputtered, "I would not even think of such a thing. She is my queen!" Haldir was more determined than ever to reach Caras Galadhon before night fell. He took her arm and led her forward at a brisk pace, ever southward.
Legolas had not followed her, but watched, his lips curved in a slight smile. Whisper or no, he could hear every word they said. How he hoped they might reconsider and once again include him in their lovemaking! He ran to catch up to them.
They quickly approached the gate and entered, heading immediately for the southern and largest tree. When they reached the chamber, located on the highest talan of this great mallorn, Galadriel was already there, waiting for them. She seemed to shimmer in the green, silver and gold that adorned the hall. As always, the beauty of his queen took Haldir's breath.
Haldirriel stepped forward. "You requested my presence?"
The Lady of the Wood smiled. "I am told you have suffered a grievous wound."
"I am well. I came for wisdom, for a word of insight into the meaning of my dream."
Haldir stood, abashed. He could not understand the boldness of Haldirriel in addressing his Lady; she had not even bowed!
"We will not speak of this here in the open. I would that you would join me in my private chambers?"
Haldirriel nodded and moved forward. Legolas and Haldir stepped out also.
The Lady Galadriel raised a hand and they both stopped. She moved towards the stairs to her private chambers and Haldirriel followed.
Lord Celeborn came in as she left and warmly greeted the two. "Welcome, son of Thranduil. It is indeed long since we last saw you. And our Marchwarden, Haldir. You are ready for your journey?" He bid them sit.
Haldir looked at him in wonder. Celeborn laughed. "You have not been told that you will be traveling shortly?"
Shaking his head, Haldir took the proffered cup from an Elleth. Legolas gave him a wary glance as he sat and also took a cup. Celeborn held his high. "I would drink to the friendship of our northern kindred."
They drank and he placed his cup upon a table at his side. "I will do what I can to aid you. I have already handpicked your companions. Supplies have been assembled and warmer clothes have been prepared." He turned to Legolas. "Do you still have the Elvish robes that Galadriel and her maidens made for the Fellowship?"
"I do. I brought it with me. It is in Haldir's talan."
"Very good. You will need it where you are going. If I remember correctly, this is how they were first described to you so long ago - "They should serve you well: they are light to wear, and warm enough or cool enough at need. And you will find them a great aid in keeping out of the sight of unfriendly eyes, whether you walk among the stones or the trees."*
"So we are to walk among the stones or the trees?" Legolas asked with a smile.
"Both, I think. You are headed north, past your Adar's kingdom. Even unto the Ered Mithrin." He held up a hand. "Yes. You go beyond Eryn Lasgalen even. To the beginnings of the Forest River; perhaps even beyond, to the Withered Heath."
At that name, Legolas' eyes widened. "Think you there might still be dragons there?"
"We do not know. Smaug was the last of the great ones, but tales have told of lesser dragons. We do not know." He paused, then smiled. "You, Legolas Greenleaf, will not be traveling without your newfound friend at your side. Gimli, son of Glóin, has been sent for. His father mined the Grey Mountains. He should be of much help. He is expected to arrive within the hour. A fast steed was sent. I understand he dislikes horses?"
Legolas laughed loud and long. "If he comes into Caras Galadhon on a horse, then I will be amazed. And yet, I find I am always amazed when I come into your kingdom, Lord Celeborn." And he bowed low. "Thank you for allowing me this honour."
A/N - *FOTR (Farewell to Lorien) - JRRT
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