25. Familiar Visitor
When he arrived at the chamber, he could see his ada sitting behind his desk with stern eyes staring back at him. Thranduil was angry, that was evident, "Close the door…"
Legolas abided and closed the door behind him. He stood near the door waiting, anticipating his ada's move. Thranduil did not break eye contact with his ion, "Sit Legolas."
Legolas moved forward and took the seat in front of King Thranduil. He eyed his ada with cautious gaze, reading his expression, "Ada, let me explain…"
Thranduil raised up a hand, silencing Legolas, "No, you listen to me. You are my son and the Prince of Mirkwood. Soon you will take over the throne from me and I want the best for you. I can safely say that the elleth you have with you right now is not the best."
Legolas shook his head, "No, ada, please listen to me."
Thranduil stood up, angered, "No! I will not let you marry that elleth! She has been tainted and with Haldir's child no less. Why should you be responsible for her when Haldir himself has washed his hands off her? You are the prince. You deserve someone better, a noble elleth from a renowned family. She has her own agenda. When she marries you, she will have all the riches in the land. That is what she wants!"
Legolas could no longer listen to the accusations his ada was throwing at Calavénë, "Ada! It is not like you have said. I love her like a gwathel and she loves me like a gwanur. She is a good elleth and whatever that has happened to her is unfortunate. She is certain that Haldir does not love her and her pregnancy came to her as a shock. My marriage to her will bring her honour and will give her unborn child a father. In time perhaps, by the will of the Valar we could learn to love each other like you and naneth did. Tell me, did you not start out like us? Marrying each other not with the love of a hervenn and a hervess but the love of two friends? And yet, here I am, in existence as a testament of your love. Could you not see?"
Thranduil was lost for words. True, he did marry Legolas' mother not with the love shared by lovers but with the love between friends. In time they learned to love each other and Thranduil would not have it any other way. But his hervess was pure when he married her, giving herself only to him but this elleth, Calavénë was already with child! He sat down on his chair, thinking of how this would play out. If he were to refuse, Thranduil knew Legolas would run away with her being the stubborn ellon that he was. But if he was to consent, it will bring more scandal upon Mirkwood.
Thranduil shook his head. If it was some other ellon in his kingdom wanting to do this, he would have praised him and commended his nobility. But this was his son and he cannot let him destroy his future, "You are sure of this? Is Calavénë really a good person? No personal agenda behind this?"
Legolas nodded, "Yes. The marriage was my idea and it even surprised her."
Thranduil sighed, "Bring her to me. I would talk to her first before I make my decision."
Legolas nodded. He understood his ada's apprehension. He left the room to fetch Calavénë. When he reached the room Calavénë was sitting nervously near the window, "Gwathel, my ada wants to have a word with you."
Calavénë stood up, panic rising inside her, "Why? Have I done anything wrong?"
Legolas smiled and shook his head, "No, worry not. He just wants to get to know you."
Calavénë nodded weakly and followed Legolas to Thranduil's chamber. The both of them walked in silence. Legolas then reached out to her and held her hand, gently clasping the thin fingers. They continued on until they came upon the room. Legolas walked forward, "Ada, I have Calavénë here…"
Thranduil nodded, "Thank you. That will be all Legolas."
Legoals turned to leave the room. Before he left her, he stroked her cheek and placed a soft kiss on the top of her head, "I will return soon. Be at ease…"
Calavénë smiled and watched him leave. She was now alone in the room with the king. Her knees shook and she felt the weight of her body too much. The king stood up and pulled a chair for her, "Sit, henn. I would like to talk to you."
Calavénë swallowed hard and took the seat. She eyed the king, watching him pace before her, "Your majesty, how may I be of service?"
Thranduil stopped and looked at the elleth. She was thin and sickly. Her belly protruded on her lap with a hand placed safely over it, "Tell me henn, what do you think of my son Legolas?"
Calavénë took a deep breath, "He is a noble ellon my lord. He has been a great companion when he came to Lorien. That was the first time I met him. He has taught me a lot about life and love. I adore him as my own blood."
Thranduil said nothing for a moment. Then he continued, "What do you think of his proposal?"
Calavénë looked at the floor beneath her, "I think it rash. I know he only seek to return the honour I lost but I cannot accept. I will not see him throw away his life for me. I have lived like this for three months. I do not see why I cannot continue to do so."
Thranduil stared at the elleth. Her words seemed genuine and true. Perhaps Legolas was right after all, she is a noble elleth, "Tell me henn, how did this 'incident' happened to you?"
Calavénë took a deep breath and told him the tale of her life. She told him of her family and of Lady Galadriel. She told him of Haldir and how she came to be with his child. She explained how she came to be in Mirkwood and how Legolas found her. Thranduil listened in silence. There was much he needed to know and soon it was clear that Calavénë had no personal agenda. In fact, she was honest and true. Thranduil could see why his son chose to bestow his kind nobility to this elleth. She was indeed a good person who had unfortunate things happened to her.
Thranduil came closer to Calavénë, who was now crying, "Hush, pen dithen. I agree with Legolas. You are not a bad person. I understand why he had proposed to you. You are so precious, innocent and untainted by the ways of this world. If you are to agree to my son's proposal, I would gladly bestow my blessings."
Calavénë was shocked by the king's words. It amazed her at how the king and Legolas had accepted her and how they were willing to give her something she did not posses, a family. The king took her in his arms and kissed the top of her head, "My only wish is, if you do marry my son, take care of him. Make him happy."
Calavénë did not know what to say. She was still considering his proposal and with what had happened here, she became utterly confused. She loved Haldir but look at what Haldir's love had caused her; pain, shame and loneliness. But now, Legolas was offering her everything Haldir's love cannot. If she were to say yes, all her troubles would be over and yes, perhaps in time she could learn to love him as her hervenn.
Legolas came back to the room not long after. He was gladdened to hear that his father has given his consent on his proposal. Now all that was needed was Calavénë's answer. Legolas took her hand and led her to gardens. They walked hand in hand both lost in their thoughts. Legolas turned her around and held her face, "My father has given us his blessings. Now all I need is an answer from you. I promise I would cherish you and take good care of you."
Calavénë looked at the elven prince, "I know. I know you would but give me time. I have much to think and weigh. Give me three days to think about this."
Legolas nodded and bent down to kiss her sweet lips, "I will, pen dithen. Come we have much to prepare. We have guests!"
Calavénë's face changed, "Guests? Who?"
Legolas laughed, "I had forgotten to tell you. We are expecting Gimli, Frodo, Pippin and Merry to arrive on the morrow. I have to see to the preparations."
Upon hearing Frodo's name, Calavénë's heart leaped in her chest, "Frodo? I shall be very pleased to see him." Then she looked upon her swollen belly, "No… I cannot see them like this. What will they think?"
Legolas looked at her, "They will think nothing. They will be happy to see their old friend once again. I am sure. Come let us feed you some more. If you are to carry this child to term, you need to put on some more weight."
The both of them made their way to the dining halls. Legolas felt uneasy. He knew what he was doing was for Calavénë's own good but Haldir was his mellon too. He would write to him. If indeed he does not feel the same for Calavénë, Legolas would marry her. If he does, then Legolas would want him to ride to Mirkwood fast to explain himself to Calavénë.
After taking Calavénë to the dining hall to enjoy some treats for the evening, he left for his study. He sat near the desk and produced a parchment for him to write. He looked at the blank piece of paper in front of him. What was he going to say? He took the quill and dipped it in ink and began writing on the parchment.
Haldir, mellon nin.
I have news for you and it is my hope that it be a good one for you. I know you have been searching for Calavénë high and low. Forgive me, last I wrote to you; I informed that I could not find Calavénë anywhere. But the Valar have smiled upon us. At long last, I found her. She was indeed in Mirkwood all this time hidden in the outskirts of the forest.
She is with child Haldir almost five months along. I am certain you know of this for I knew you were hiding something from me in your last letter. Haldir, she is in despair. I do not know the extent of your problems with her. I do not know what exactly you feel for her save for what she told me. She does not think you love her. Tell me Haldir, what do you exactly feel for her?
Given the state I found her in, alone and ashamed, I have proposed to her. I will wed her and make her my lawful hervess. She is sure that you do not feel the same for her. I merely sought to restore the honour she lost. I am still waiting for her answer and I will wait for yours as well. I am sending the letter using my fastest hawk. But if I do not hear from you in four days, I will assume that you do not want to have anything to do with her and her child. On the tenth day, we will marry.
Haldir, if you care for her then write back to me. Let me help you set this matter right. But if you do not feel for her, I will invite you to the wedding nonetheless. You are my friend and I want no animosity between us. I await your letter and your answer.
Legolas looked at the letter once again. When he was satisfied with the content, he took an envelope, placed the letter in it and sealed it with Thranduil's crest. He called for his servant to bring his pet hawk. The bird was happy to see its master again. Legolas stroked its feathers and spoke to it, "Onondolo mellon nin. Fly hard and fast. I need this letter to reach Lorien, to a warrior named Haldir. Wait for his reply and return only when you have his letter."
The hawk squawked when Legolas tied the letter around his foot and tossed him out the window. The bird took flight and soon was out of sight. He prayed in his heart Haldir would get the letter and his answer will bring good news. He looked at the sky. The sun was almost setting and he had promised Calavénë that he would dine with her. Legolas closed the window and made his way to the dining hall.
Calavénë and Legolas stood on the steps to Thranduil's hall waiting for the arrival of their dear friends, Gimli, Frodo, Merry and Pippin. Calavénë was excited and scared at the same time. What will they think of her? Her thoughts were kept to herself but Legolas knew what was on her mind. He snaked an arm around her waist and pulled her close. Calavénë looked up and saw his smiling face. She was grateful for his presence. Her gaze turned to the wagon pulling up towards the palace.
Gimli's voice boomed from behind the wagon, "Las! It is good to see you lad! I see lady Calavénë is here as well! And my, you have indeed blossomed! My congratulations on your impending motherhood! I hope Legolas here is not the father! He will corrupt the child!"
Legolas laughed, "I will do no such thing. I will leave all the corrupting to you! Welcome my friend! Where are the rest?"
Soon Frodo, Merry and Pippin came into view. Frodo spoke first, "We are here. It is good to see you Legolas and I am especially pleased to meet you Calavénë. I missed you at Aragorn's coronation." Frodo ran up to the pregnant elleth to embrace her but stopped in his tracks. He looked up at her, his eyes filled with questions, "You are with child?"
Calavénë smiled and nodded, "Yes, Frodo. It has been almost five months."
Frodo frowned, "So you married Legolas?"
A sad smile formed on Calavénë's face. She did not know how to answer him. Gimli who seemed to have understood what was happening quickly intervened, "Enough with the interrogation. Come, show me the halls of your palace and feed us."
At the mention of food, both Merry and Pippin ran towards the stairs, "Yes, please. We would love some lunch."
Frodo walked with Calavénë towards the dining hall. There were a lot of questions in his mind. Why was Calavénë with child and whose was it? Who did she marry if not Haldir? Then the elleth he saw with Haldir that day was indeed his wife? Calavénë seemed to notice his confusion. She placed an arm around his shoulders, "I know you have many questions. I will try to answer them tonight. First let us eat."
After lunch the whole company went sightseeing through Mirkwood. They went to the market place and then to the waterfalls. It was only close to dusk they returned home. Calavénë went straight to her chamber, wearied from her activities today. She bathed and was now sitting near the window, looking at the moon and her thought strayed to Haldir. A small knock on her door broke her trance. She walked towards the door and opened it. It was Frodo.
Calavénë smiled, "Come in Frodo."
Frodo walked in to the room, looking left and right. It was not as big as Legolas' room but it was cosy and comfortable. Calavénë showed him to the plush seats in her room, "What brings you here Frodo?"
Frodo smiled, "I could not sleep. I thought perhaps, we could talk."
Calavénë smiled, "Yes, of course. Tell me how is Sam?"
Frodo grinned, "He is well, and enjoying his married days with his wife I gather."
Calavénë gasped, "I did not know he was married! When? To who?"
Frodo chuckled, "He was married eight days ago to a Hobbit named Rosie Cotton, someone he has fancied for a long time. Speaking of marriage, why did you not attend the coronation and wedding of Arwen and Aragorn?"
Calavénë sighed, "I was indisposed. I could not attend though I wish I had. Was it wonderful?"
Frodo nodded eagerly, "It was. The coronation was wonderful and the wedding magical. Everyone was there. Lady Galadriel and Lord Celeborn, Lord Elrond and Lord Glorfindel, Arwen's brothers, Lady Eowyn, King Eomer and Lord Faramir. Haldir was there too with his wife."
Calavénë froze. Haldir was there too with his wife? She was sure she heard him wrong, "Haldir and his wife?"
Frodo nodded, "Yes, that sister of yours… What was her name…"
Calavénë gulped, "Mirnimmeril?"
Frodo smiled, "Yes! That is the one! I did not know that Haldir fancied her. Whatever happened between the two of you? I thought…"
Frodo did not quite finish his sentence when Calavénë stood up and ran from her room. Frodo tried to follow her, shouting her name, "Calavénë! Wait! What happened? Did I say something?"
Legolas heard the commotion and went outside to see what was happening. He saw Calavénë ran past him with a distraught look was on her face. Frodo came trailing along. Legolas stopped him, "What happened?"
The little Hobbit explained what had happened. Legolas shook his head. Then it is true, Haldir does not feel for her. He has taken a wife and neglected Calavénë. She would be hurting right now. He would go to her and see that she did not do anything rash.
Calavénë stood in the gardens, her face wet with tears. Her breathing was shallow and her eyes burnt from the sting of her tears. She stared at the moon. Now her misery was finally complete. Haldir had rejected her by marrying Mirnimmeril. How could she? How could she agree to marry him when she knows how much Calavénë loved the Marchwarden. Calavénë closed her eyes. There was only one thing to do…
Legolas walked in to the gardens. Calavénë was staring at the moon. He came to her and stood beside her silently. Legolas was surprised when Calavénë turned to face him, her face full of anguish, "Yes…"
Legolas was confused, "Yes… what?"
Calavénë took a deep breath, "Yes, I will marry you…" She threw her hands around his neck and pulled him into a deep kiss. Legolas was surprised but the feel of her lips intoxicated him. She kissed him hard and almost painful. Legolas felt himself aroused by the interaction and he immediately pulled away.
He looked at her, eyes dark with questions and desire, "Are you sure?"
Calavénë nodded, tears falling from her eyes, "I am… He does not love me and if you are willing to provide me with a name for my child, I will gladly accept. I will learn to love you and be your wife fully."
Legolas nodded, "I promise to care for you and fend for you. I will shower you with all the love I have for you right now. One day when we have truly loved each other as hervenn and hervess, I will show you how you are supposed to be loved." He pulled her into his arms and held her tight. He could feel her sobbing in his arms. Yes, he would care for her and treasure her, unlike Haldir who did not know how to appreciate a gem that was in front of him.
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.