9. Who? Me? You Are Jesting, Aren't You?
“Lord Celeborn and the Lady believe you hold the key. They have already informed Haldir that you will accompany him to the royal retreat at the joining of the two rivers.”
“That must have cheered him immensely.” She muttered darkly.
Maenestad shook his head. “He did not take it well. He claimed to his brother that he has been removed as March Warden and banished. It is this constant negative exaggeration that appears to be the main symptom of his condition. He sees almost everything through the cloud of paranoia.”
“It has decided then.” Nurael sat down abruptly on a small stool in one of the examining rooms on the lower level of the healing talan. “Have I no say in the matter?”
Maenestad shook his head, “You may appeal to the Lady, but it will do little good. She has seen something and believes if Haldir is to survive this self destructive behavior then you will be the one that will allow him to do so.”
“What has been done so far to treat him?”
“Only to keep him on light duty, hoping that he will relax enough for his natural healing ability to take over.”
“Have you not initiated any treatment?”
“Me personally? No.” He sighed. “Officially nothing is wrong with him and unless he comes to me for help himself there is nothing I can do.
If the Lady orders him here it will become public knowledge. He will suffer public scrutiny that would ultimately affect his ability to function as March Warden. Her only intent is to find a treatment that will allow his healing while letting him maintain his dignity and pride. She feels he deserves that consideration.”
“I know nothing about dealing with illnesses of the faer. If this is truly the source of his disquiet, and you could not help him, should not Lord Elrond be asked to address it?”
“There are many reasons why this must not become known to any outside our Lord, the Lady, and us. His brothers know of course and are as concerned as we are. None of us are anxious for Haldir to be subjected to public comment.”
Nurael sat there pondering over what she had just been told. “If this is so, how will his absence be explained? The March Warden of the Golden Wood cannot simply disappear for an indeterminate amount of time without it being noticed.”
“It has been announced that he is on a special assignment for the Lord and Lady and that it will be some time before he is expected to return.”
“I would like to talk to the Lady if she will agree. If I have any hope of dealing with this then I must be informed about all that is known.”
“That can be arranged. She is very concerned about him and I believe she will allow whatever support you will need to deal with this matter.”
“Please do, Master Maenestad, but I fear you have given me a task that can only end in defeat for all of us.
Nurael had returned to her talan after another long and busy day working with the other healers. There had been a transfer of several seriously wounded warriors from the northern fences that had required extensive treatments for their wounds. As a result she had not had much time to dwell on the master healer’s troubling comments earlier that day.
Now after changing into a pair of soft worn leggings and oversized tunic, eating a quiet dinner and relaxing in one of the big sitting area chairs she found herself sorting through what she had learned earlier that afternoon in an effort to determine what possible treatments she could remembered from her training that might be applicable. But the more she thought about it the angrier she became. How like Haldir! Self centred arrogant stiff-necked elf! Why must she always be plagued with him? Finally in frustration she gave up.
Reluctantly she had to acknowledge that if Haldir was truly suffering from an ill faer, then it was her duty as a healer to help him. Her personal feelings were not important. She would have to talk to the Lady and Haldir’s brothers for more information on what and when they had observed the changes in him. She was startled by a soft knock on her door. Frowning she called out.
“Who seeks entrance?”
“Nurael. It’s Rumi. I must speak to you.” He called softly.
“Rumi? It’s late and I am tired. Can’t it wait until tomorrow?”
“I have just come from the Lady. It is important!”
“Oh, very well.” Grumbling she open the door letting him slip through.
“I am sorry Nurael, but the Lady wishes to talk to you, now! I think you must have asked to talk with her about Haldir. She sent me to escort you back instead of one of her attendants. Since we are old friends no one will comment about seeing us together.”
“Isn’t this secrecy getting to be a bit much, Rumi?”
“Nurael, he needs help.”
“Well, I don’t think I am the one to give it to him.” She added waspishly. “When I asked to come back, I hadn’t planned on dealing with a spoilt March Warden who only seems to be concerned about blows to his pride and image rather than what his actions could do to those around him.”
“Nurael,” Rumi protested horrified.
“Well it is true. Everyone is bending over backwards and tiptoeing around him afraid to tell him to straighten up. The end result is to encourage him to believe something is really wrong. The all mighty March Warden can’t be seen to have any weakness. He must be invincible. Yrch dung! He is an elf like any other and he has problems just like everyone else.”
Rumi looked at her his mouth hanging open too startled to say anything.
She picked up a light wrapper and tossed it about her shoulders then turned and looked pointedly at Rumi, “Well, lead me to the Lady, if I am going to have to deal with this then I had best get my marching orders.”
“Ummm, Nury… shouldn’t you change or something? It isn’t like you are just going to meet me or Phin, It is the Lady.”
“You said she wanted to see me now, well that means now, not after I have bothered to change into something appropriate for the royal talan. One must always do as they require. After all she is the Lady and he is our Lord.”
Rumi backed away from her nervously unprepared for this version of Nurael. Without a word he opened the door and followed her out.
In the royal talan Galadriel started to laugh. Celeborn looked up from the book he was reading.
“Care to share what amuses you so, ind nin?”
“Nurael, meleth nin. I think she is definitely the answer for our March Warden.”
ind nin-my heart
meleth nin-my love
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.