Heart of Stone: 26. The Letter

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26. The Letter

Haldir sat in his talan, pouring over maps, crossing certain places on them. These marks signified the places he has been to in search of Calavénë. Gondor was marked and so was Rohan. Rivendell too was marked but Haldir had doubts about Mirkwood. It is a vast forest. Although Legolas did search for her, he could still have missed her. Haldir sighed. With his new found hope, he began searching for Calavénë once again. This time he will have her by his side no matter what.

A bird landing on the perch of his talan distracted him. He looked out the window and saw a mighty hawk sitting on the knob of the staircase. It was Legolas' pet. He usually uses it to convey messages that he needed answers to fast. Haldir walked out and held the bird in his hands and saw a piece of paper tied to the bird's foot. He took it out slowly and brought the bird inside where he fed the bird and provided some water for it. Haldir sat down and opened the letter. He read what was inside carefully…

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


Haldir crumpled the letter in his hand. So, Calavénë has been found and now the joyous news did not cheer him. The happy news came with a dreaded one as well. Legolas had proposed. Calavénë still did not believe that Haldir loves her. Haldir feared that she might have accepted the proposal. After all she was alone and with child. Marrying Legolas would restore her honour and give her a place to call home. He knew Legolas meant well but he could not help but feel hurt by his actions. Legolas was his close friend. He should know how he felt about Calavénë!

Haldir looked at the date written on the letter. It was sent three days ago and Legolas was expecting a reply tomorrow! This was not possible. Even with the hawk he used to send the letter with, it will only reach him in two days time. Legolas and Calavénë would be betrothed by that time. Nevertheless, he would write back to the prince and tell him his side of the story. Then he would ride hard and fast towards Mirkwood. Haldir took out a piece of parchment and began writing down his thoughts.

Legolas,

It saddens me to find out that you have proposed to her. I knew you meant well but it felt like you were crossing a line between us. I love her Legolas, with all my heart. I could not tell her when I first knew but when I wanted to, so many things hindered me from revealing my true feelings. She laced my wine with a sleeping draught and then took off, nowhere to be found. I am happy you found her but this joyous news did not bring me happiness. Do not marry her even if she has agreed to your proposal. She still needs to know how I feel about her. It is my child growing inside her and I do not want it to have any other name save for mine.

By the Valar, I hope this letter reaches you in time. Your hawk was delayed and as soon as I send this out, I will be riding towards Mirkwood. Stop the wedding Legolas, for me. For Calavénë and my unborn child. Please, make her see… I love her.

Haldir


Haldir rolled the parchment and tied it to the hawk's foot, "Fly mellon nin. Reach Mirkwood fast. My life depends on your arrival." He kissed the bird and set it free.

He closed his eyes and prayed to the Valar, "You have tested my faith and love the way you saw fit. But do not test me this way. I cannot see her belong to someone else, especially Legolas. I will lose the both of them if that happens. Have mercy on me…"

Haldir hurried inside and readied his gear. There was no time to inform his brothers of his departure. Both Rumil and Orophin were still at the borders attending to their duties. He would leave them a note so they would not worry for him. He ran towards the stables and mounted his trusty steed, Baingraban. With a swift pull of the reigns and a gently kick to the sides of the horse, Haldir rode towards Mirkwood. It will take him four days to reach Mirkwood and he will not rest!

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The preparations for the wedding were well on the way. Gimli, Frodo, Merry and Pippin had decided to stay until the wedding so they could help with the planning as well. Legolas was beaming. He could not believe that he was finally settling down with Calavénë nonetheless! He felt immense amount of happiness and euphoria thinking of his impending nuptials. The invitations have been sent out and they were waiting patiently for the reply. His father had invited almost every renowned elf on Middle Earth. Aragorn and Arwen were also invited and so did all of his friends that included Eomer King, Lord Faramir, Samwise and his wife Rosie as well as Lady Galadriel and Lord Celeborn. Mirkwood was buzzing with excitement and Legolas could not be any happier.

It could not be said the same for Calavénë. It had been four days since Legolas proposed and since that day she felt herself weary and drained. She looked pale, even paler than the usual hue of the elven skin. Her breathings were laboured and her head spun all the time. Her visions would cloud every now and then. No one noticed this for she spent most of her time in her room. The only person coming to visit was Legolas. Tried he did to bring her happiness but Calavénë's heart was too far drowned in a sea of grief. Every night her dreams were haunted by Haldir's images. Her heart was uneasy. She knew in her heart… She was fading… The elven sickness was upon her.

The only thing that bound her to this earth was her child. She needed to stay strong for it and make sure it is delivered into this world. She would not travel to the Halls of Mandos with a child in tow. Her decision to marry Legolas was for her child. At least when she was gone, he would care for it. How could she marry him? She had already bound herself to Haldir. Whatever happens to her, she needed to make sure her child has a family. For the first time ever, Legolas did not notice this change in her. He was always the first one to notice the subtle changes happening to her due to all her troubles. But this time, he was too enraptured by his own happiness he did not see her suffering.

Calavénë felt bad for Legolas. She had led him on, making him believe she would truly stay with him. KingThranduil's words echoed in her mind. She did have a personal agenda but it was not for her own happiness but her child's.

Calavénë heard noises outside. The whole palace was in a constant state of commotion. The gardens' decorations had been put up. Their royal bedchamber was being cleaned and decorated. Gimli was seeing to the food for the feast and Merry and Pippin were in charge of the entertainment. Frodo was given the task to write a toast for the happy couple. Calavénë peered out her window. She could see more elves arriving for the wedding.

A knock on her door startled her. She rose up slowly and opened the door. It was the seamstress bearing the gown that she would wear for her wedding. She still needed some more fitting sessions to make sure the dress is perfect. Calavénë stood on the platform the seamstress, Amnell brought with her. She slipped on the dress and stood still. Amnell started working on the dress.

Calavénë felt lightheaded. The world around her was spinning. She looked at her reflection in the mirror. The beautiful dress hung perfectly on her rounded form. She took another look at the alien image in front of her. Her mind immediately raced to Haldir and what would have been their wedding day. Instead, there he stood with Mirnimmeril at his side. Calavénë could feel her heart breaking. Nay, she could hear her heart breaking. Her visions began to blur and the dizziness did not allow her to stand still. She lost her footing and slipped down from the platform and fell to the ground. Amnell was shocked to see Prince Legolas' betrothed sprawled on the floor. She ran out of the room, shouting for help, "Help! Someone help me! The lady! She has fainted!"

A few other servants came in and held her. Legolas ran as fast as he could when the news reached him. He entered her room and found her unconscious. He held her, tears in his eyes. He did love her even if it was only sister like but love her he did. He held her close and shouted to the guards outside, "Bring the healers!"

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Haldir had been riding hard for the past four days. Now he was only a few hours away from King Thranduil's palace. He pushed Baingraban to a painful run, patting his steed, asking him to help get him to Mirkwood in time. The rain was now falling but he pressed on. He needed to get there as fast as he could. Calavénë must now how he feels.

-------------------

Legolas stared at the letter Onondolo brought back. Tears filled his eyes. He was saddened by the fact that Calavénë was now fighting for her life. But he was also happy that Haldir was on his way. The healers informed him that Calavénë was with elven sickness. The only thing still keeping her alive was her unborn child. They told him, her fea was broken. Her heart was grieving and so she began to fade away, slowly. He looked at the letter again…

Legolas,

It saddened me to find out that you have proposed to her. I knew you meant well but it felt like you were crossing a line between us. I love her Legolas, with all my heart. I could not tell her when I first knew but when I wanted to, so many things hindered me from revealing my true feelings. She laced my wine with a sleeping draught and then took off, nowhere to be found. I am happy you found her but this joyous news did not bring me happiness. Do not marry her even if she has agreed to your proposal. She still needs to know how I feel about her. It is my child growing inside her and I do not want it to have any other name save for mine.

By the Valar, I hope this letter reaches you in time. Your hawk was delayed and as soon as I send this out, I will be riding towards Mirkwood. Stop the wedding Legolas, for me. For Calavénë and my unborn child. Please, make her see… I love her.

Haldir


Legolas was angered. These two made things so tangled and complicated between them just because of some unspoken words and hasty decisions. He was amazed at the length these two went to prevent themselves from true happiness. Calavénë should not have laced the wine. Maybe if she did not, they would be together now. Haldir too was at fault here. If he were to tell her of his feelings sooner, she will not be fading away right now. Legolas rose from bed. He wanted to see Calavénë today to see whether there was any improvement.

Legolas walked towards the healing chamber. Calavénë was the only patient in there. They laid her in a cot near the fire, hoping it would warm her cold body. Legolas entered and sat down beside her. He stroked her hair and then her cheeks. Her face felt cold and almost hard. The only warm area on her body was her swollen belly. Legolas placed a hand on her belly and spoke to the child inside, "My dear sweet child, I am Legolas. I would have become your ada but your real ada is on his way. Stay strong for your nana. Keep her bound to this earth. We love you both and it will kill your ada if you were to die…"

Legolas looked at Calavénë. There were no signs of movement or emotions on her. She was cut off from the living world as her soul hung by a thread. Legolas should have seen this but he was too lost in his own happiness he did not see that Calavénë was suffering. How funny it was that all this trouble was caused by misunderstandings. Calavénë misunderstood Haldir and Frodo misunderstood as well, thinking Haldir had married someone else. Legolas too misunderstood the real reason to her saying yes. The world would be a better place if people learned to show how they truly felt.

A strong hand on his shoulder caused Legolas to turn around. Gimli stood next to him, "She will make it. Now come. Haldir is here. He just pulled up in front of the palace."

Legolas was anxious. He stood up and made his way to the royal entrance. There he saw Haldir, soaked to the bones. He went to his friend and pulled him in an embrace, "Eru! You have no idea how happy I am to see you!"

Haldir patted Legolas' back, "And I, you. Tell me I am not too late…"

Legolas was glum. Haldir could see it on his face. He smiled weakly, "No, we are not betrothed. But I fear you might be too late nonetheless…"

Haldir stepped forward, looking into those deep blue eyes, "What do you mean I am too late?"

Legolas sighed and walked towards the healing hall, "Come with me…"

Haldir followed suit and walked towards the healing hall. Why were they heading towards the healing hall? Did Calavénë already delivered? It was not possible. According to his calculations she was still seven months away. He could see a female body lying on the bed from afar. Fear rose inside him. Calavénë was ill…

Legolas pointed to the bed near the windows. It was Calavénë. Haldir ran to her, kneeling beside the bed. He looked up at Legolas, with eyes demanding answers. Legolas sighed and told him what the healers informed him, "She is slipping away Haldir. Her body is weak, her heart is breaking and her soul hangs by a thread. Too many misunderstandings have caused this. It seems she thought you were married to her adoptive sister for Frodo saw the affections between the two of you and thought otherwise. She only said yes to me because I think, she knew in her heart she would fade away. Her fea is bound to you but when she thought her love will not be reciprocated… It tore her apart. The bond you have cannot sustain her on this earth as it is not strong enough. My healers are at wits end. The only thing binding her here is your child…"

Tears flowed from Haldir's eyes. How much has happened and all because he was too cowardly to tell her how he felt about her, too guarded and too foolish. He stroked her cheeks. They were cold. He placed his hand on her heart and he could feel it beat slowly. He crouched down beside her ear and whispered into it, "Melethril… It is I, Haldir. I have come for you. I love you… Open your eyes for me my love… Do not leave me…"

Legolas watched as Haldir continued to whisper loving words to her. He was telling the truth. The healers were at wits end. They could only place her in a deep healing sleep to prevent her body form deteriorating quickly.

Haldir looked up at Legolas, "There is nothing more your healers can do?"

Legolas shook his head, "As for now, they have tried everything."

Haldir stood up, "Legolas, I must ask this of you. Could you provide me a talan somewhere in your city? If there is nothing that could be done for her, I would like to have her alone with me. I will care for her…"

Legolas smiled, "No, mellon nin. You can have a room inside my palace. That way the healers would still be able to inspect her progress. I shall see to it. I will be back. Stay with Calavénë."

Haldir watched as Legolas disappeared behind the corner. He knelt down beside the bed once again and brought his lips upon hers. Her lips were cold, not warm and inviting any longer. There were no emotions in her kiss and any soft moans or whimper. Haldir kissed her again nonetheless. He kissed down her neck and then kissed her belly. He placed his hand over the protective layers of her body that shielded their child, "Ion… I am your ada. Help me bring back your naneth to me. I want the both of you in my life. I have missed the first five months of your growth and I will not miss anything any longer. I am here to stay…"

Haldir was lost for words when his ion kicked and responded to him. He bent down and kissed the belly again. He looked up hoping to see that perhaps Calavénë might have wakened up. His heart sank yet again when he saw no movement from her. He sat by her side waiting for Legolas to return.

Another hour would have passed before Legolas returned. A bedchamber was readied for them. The healers carefully lifted Calavénë and took her to the new room. Haldir followed silently, forlorn and defeated. He tried his best to reach her but the Valar sought to test him once again. This time he had a feeling that they might have won this battle…

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Haldir returned from the bathing chamber and entered his room. Legolas was generous and provided them with one of the royal chamber. It was magnificent and it was facing the most wondrous view of the gardens. Haldir turned and looked at the elleth sleeping on the bed. Calavénë was still clad in her day gown and her hair was still tied and pulled into braids. Haldir walked towards the wooden cupboard and pulled out a night gown. He slipped on the bed and began changing her clothes. Haldir could see that her breasts were swollen with milk and her belly as round as ever. He caressed the soft rounded abdomen, his child growing inside. Calavénë was thin and frail. Haldir shook his head. If only he was here to care for her.

He slipped the nightgown over her head and began untying the braids. Her hair soon flowed down like a cascading golden waterfall. He placed her back in bed and pulled the covers over them. He took her in his arms, warming her body. He sang to her one of Galadriel's song. He stroked her hair and kissed her temple, "Rest now pen dithen. Rise tomorrow morning with me… Le melon, dithen cugu… Le melon…"

Haldir held her until his own eyes betrayed him. He was tired and beaten by the weather. His heart was heavy with a sense of grief and relieve. As he fell asleep, he held her tighter, closer to his body afraid of losing her yet again. He closed his eyes and said a prayer, "Eru! Return her to me with you powers. I love her and you know this. Return her to me…" He closed his eyes and was now entering the state of dreams.

Haldir opened his eyes and saw nothing but mist and clouds. There was a blinding light shining above him. The air around him was still. He was not breathing but yet he was. He looked around trying to see the things around him. Soon the shapeless clouds took form. Some became trees and some flowers. Now he was standing in a magnificent garden made of clouds. He walked around cautious of the soft fluffy ground.

Then he saw someone standing atop a bridge of clouds. He slowly approached the form, noticing her golden hair. It was Calavénë. She was wearing a silky ivory gown and there was a strong glow about her. He called out to her, "Calavénë…"

The elleth turned around and Haldir was surprised to see an elfling standing at her legs, holding her hand. The elleth crouched down and addressed the little elfling, "Mallen Maethor, this is your ada. Go to him…"

The young elfling looked at Haldir and then to his naneth again. Then he ran towards Haldir who opened his arms and scooped up his son. The little elfling embraced his face, "Ada!"

Haldir laughed and spun his ion around. He was beautiful, hair golden like Calavénë and a handsome face like his. He kissed the child, feeling a great and powerful sense of love and protectiveness. He looked up at Calavénë and was surprised to see how her eyes were filled with sadness. With his ion in his arms, he approached her.

Calavénë smiled at Haldir, "Haldir…"

Haldir looked at the elleth before him, "Why are you so sad melethril?"

Calavénë took his hand and kissed the palm, "Hmm… it has been so long since I heard you call me that. I am sad for I must go…"

Haldir frowned, "Go? Go where?"

Calavénë smiled, "Go away… be one with nothingness and yet I will be in everything you see and touch, especially in our ion. I came to hand him to you. Raise him. Love him and give him everything I cannot…"

Haldir could not believe his ears, "No! I have just found you once again! I will not let you go!"

Calavénë kissed his cheek, "No, Haldir. My fea is too broken to linger on earth… Good bye meleth nin…"

Haldir watched as Calavénë turned into mist and disappeared, "Calavénë! NO! NO!"

The little elfling in his arms began to cry when his naneth disappeared. Haldir fell to his knees, "No… Calavénë… No…"

Haldir woke up abruptly, sitting straight in his bed. He looked at Calavénë who was still beside her. He held her, feeling for any signs of life. He breathed a sigh of relief when he found her still breathing, though shallow but life was still within her. He kissed her temple, "No… Come back to me… Do not leave us…"

Things were out of his control. He will need help; a lot of help to bring her back. In his mind the only two people he could think of to help him were Mithrandir and Lady Galadriel. He would send a message for them first thing in the morning. Now all he wanted to do was hold Calavénë close and make sure she stayed with 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.

Story Information

Author: luthien85

Status: General

Completion: Complete

Era: 3rd Age - Ring War

Genre: Romance

Rating: Adult

Last Updated: 08/15/10

Original Post: 06/21/10

Go to Heart of Stone overview

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