27. On Mountain Tops
Haldir was getting anxious. With the arrival of Lady Galadriel and soon Mithrandir, perhaps they could start healing Calavénë soon. There was not much change in her but that was not something to be happy about. She was still cold and still, like she was two weeks before. The only difference was her belly seemed to grow larger by the day. The healers were under the impression that the child inside her was growing at a tremendous speed. This worried Haldir. It could only mean Calavénë was preparing the elfling for an early birth for her body could not sustain it any longer.
Haldir finally sat on one of the chairs. His eyes were bloodshot, evidence of rough nights. He began to look unkempt. Legolas could not blame him. Haldir had spent every waking second by Calavénë's side. If it was up to him, he would not even come out to eat. That was why Legolas took the initiative of bringing him and Calavénë food. Although she was unconscious, the healers had made it clear to try and feed her food so that her body will get the proper nutrition. Haldir was utterly devoted and soon the changes on Calavénë's body were visible. She had gained some weight and she no longer looked frail. But all the work he had done seemed almost a waste for she remained cold and detached from the living world.
Thranduil motioned his hand. The cavalry had arrived. Leading the troop were Mebedir and Rumil while Orophin guarded the left flank. The horses stopped in front of the stairs and soon Lady Galadriel and Lord Celeborn descended from their horses.
Thranduil moved forward and nodded curtly to the two wise beings, "Lady Galadriel, Lord Celeborn. I welcome you to my abode. I hope your stay here will be enjoyable."
Galadriel smiled and embraced the elven king, "Mae govannen, Thranduil. I did hope our meeting did not have to be in this bleak hour but I am happy to see you nevertheless. You look as handsome as ever."
Thranduil laughed, "You look as divine as ever Galadriel. Celeborn, I hope you do not take your hervess' words to heart."
Celeborn shook his head and laughed, "On the contrary, I think she is right. You do not look a day older than five thousand!"
Thranduil led them into the palace. Galadriel could see their glum faces and when she caught sight of Haldir, her heart broke, "Mae govannen, Haldir…"
Haldir turned when he heard Lady Galadriel's voice in his head. He stood up and approached them. He bowed and greeted his lord and lady, "My lord Celeborn, my lady Galadriel. I hope your journey here went well."
Celeborn smiled and embraced the Marchwarden, "It was though we did miss your company. How are you henn?"
Haldir could only manage a weak smile, "I have been better my lord."
Galadriel stepped forward, now embracing Haldir, "There… there… Do not despair. We will try our best to help her Haldir." Her gaze turned to Legolas, "I feel bad about your wedding Legolas but trust me, you have a wonderful future ahead of you. One filled with joy and laughter together with a hervess and healthy children."
Legolas smiled and bowed, "Thank you for your kind words my lady. Now if you will follow me, I will show you to your chamber."
Galadriel shook her head, "You can show our chamber to Lord Celeborn. I must see Calavénë at once…"
Legolas nodded and ushered Lord Celeborn to the guest wing. Galadriel turned and looked at Haldir, "Where is she, Haldir?"
Haldir walked closer to the Lady of Light, "She is right this way my lady."
He walked by her side in silence. Galadriel took his arm and smiled at him, "Your brothers are here henn. I am sure you would be happy to see them."
Haldir smiled, "I thank you my lady but I do not think I could be happy with anything else when Calavénë is in this state. She has been unconscious for the past two weeks. No whisper, no blink of the eyes… nothing."
Galadriel nodded, "That happens, henn when a fea is broken or has lost the will to endure. Thank the Valar she is with child because that is the only thing keeping her here. Come, we must hurry…"
Galadriel entered the room Calavénë was in. She looked upon the elleth who seemed to be in a deep sleep. She sat beside her, stroking her hair. She felt her cheeks, they were cold indeed. Galadriel's eyes fell upon her belly and she looked up at Haldir, "How far along is she? Six months?"
Haldir nodded, "Yes, six months in ten days time. Why my lady?"
Galadriel sighed. It is as she feared. Calavénë's body was speeding the growth process. She was preparing the child for an early birth. The look of her swollen belly suggested that she was nearly eight months pregnant when in truth she was only with child for six, "Your child is growing up fast. We do not have much time Haldir. When is Mithrandir due to arrive?"
Haldir paused, calculating the days, "Tomorrow if there is no obstacle before him."
Galadriel looked at Haldir then back at Calavénë, "Have you told her of your feelings?"
Haldir nodded in silence. Galadriel pressed on, "And she did nothing? Not even move?"
Haldir shook his head, "No, my lady. Not even move. Although I had a dream about her."
Galadriel turned and face the ellon, "Tell me of this dream…"
Haldir told her of his dream. How he met her in a garden of clouds and how she left their ion in his care. Galadriel watched as the ellon's face turned from wonder to anguish and then to despair. Haldir continued on, "Then I woke up. She was still with me but no change, until today…"
Galadriel nodded. Calavénë's fea was drifting between this earth and the Halls of Mandos. That was good news. It means there was still hope to try and save her. Galadriel knew a way Haldir could converse with Calavénë, convince her to return to her body but it would be too risky, "Haldir, there is a way to try and speak with her…"
Haldir's eyes lit up, "There is? Tell me, my lady!"
Galadriel held up her hand, "Patience. Do not be hasty. There is a way but it will be too risky. The dangers involved… too great. You could also be lost in the world she is in now. If that were to happen, who would look after your little elfling?"
Haldir closed his eyes. He wanted to speak to her, tell her how he feels but if the risk involved could hinder his return to this earth, how was he supposed to bring her back to life? He looked at Lady Galadriel, "I must try… What do I have to do?"
Galadriel smiled softly, "There is an enchantment I would cast. I have to leave the room for it to work for only the bonded fea should be inside the sacred circle. Once you are there, find her. Tell her everything she needs to know. Try to unearth the reason why she would not return. I could only give you two hours. More than that, you will be trapped in the world of souls forever. If you agree, then lie beside her on the bed and close your eyes."
Haldir obliged and climb into bed and lay beside her. He took her hand and held it tight. Galadriel walked out from the room momentarily to return with Lord Celeborn, "Lord Celeborn will assist me. Are you ready?"
Haldir nodded. Celeborn began sprinkling what seemed like white powder in a circle around them. He then took a candle and lit the powder on fire. The fire glowed in a strange purple hue and the smell made Haldir drowsy. Galadriel stood beside the circle, saying the spell out loud, "Entula en' templa! Lanta kaima! Edro gûr lín!"
Haldir could see a bluish tinge of light rising from the circle, encapsulating both him and Calavénë inside it. Haldir could feel his eyes heavy once again. He held her hand tightly, not wanting to let go. The room was starting to disappear slowly and soon it was total darkness.
Haldir opened his eyes. He was lying on a bed of clouds with nothing around him. He stood up gently not wanting to shake the clouds too much. Everything was white. It made it hard to see where he was. He looked around and still there was no one. He walked further hoping to find Calavénë. His eyes searched for the golden head that would stand out from the white of the clouds. He was frustrated thus he shouted her name, "Calavénë!"
Haldir spun around, shocked to see her behind him. There she stood in the same ivory gown with her hair dancing precariously in the wind. Haldir stepped closer and held her hand. She felt real. She felt alive.
Calavénë looked at the Marchwarden, "Why have you come Haldir?"
Haldir brought her soft hands to his lips and kissed the knuckles, "I came for you melethril…"
Calavénë pushed the hand away, "Have I not told you? I cannot return. My fea is broken…"
"Let me fix it… Let me heal you…" Haldir held her close to his heart.
Calavénë pulled away, "How can you? You were the one that broke me in the first place…"
That was the reason, the reason why she does not intend to return to her life on Middle Earth. Haldir hung his head in shame. He did. He was the one that broke her. He would not deny that and he took full responsibility, "Aye, it was I who broke you. But I am here now to heal you, make you whole. Let me… I love you…"
Calavénë closed her eyes. She has waited a long time to hear him say that and mean it. Now, she did not feel the weight those three words carried. It did not matter anymore. She was far too frowned in grief and despair, "My fea is tainted Haldir. Long have I suffered and despaired. The light of hope can no longer shine in me."
Haldir pulled her close and kissed her hard. In his kiss he told her of his pain. He told her of his hope and above all, he told her of his love, his true, undying love. Calavénë was out of breath when he finally released her. Warmth spread throughout her being, something she has not felt before in a very long time. She looked at him once again. There was love in his eyes and unsurpassed hope that she would return.
She walked closer to the Marchwarden, her Marchwarden. She held his face, kissing him once again, "My fea is broken like that of a broken arm. It needs medicine, magic to heal it. But I do not know how and what will help. Perhaps, if you do find this cure… I could return to you…"
Haldir let the tears in his eyes rolled down his cheek, "I would find it! I would rove the world in search for it."
Calavénë smiled again but the smile was sad, "I do not have much time Haldir. The stronger our ion gets the faster I fade. I now have your love though it will not be enough to bind me to this earth for we are not truly bonded. I would not have you put yourself in harm's way to find a cure that may or may not work. Cherish the time we have together and let me go…"
Haldir held on to her body, "NO! I will not! I will find this cure! I will bring you back to me! Do not ask this of me! Do not ask me to wait idly while you fade away!"
Calavénë smiled and kissed the Marchwarden, "Very well… I will not. Let us spend the time we have here fruitfully… Love me Haldir…"
Haldir looked at her with questioning eyes, "How? We are but fear here. Our bodies are not with us…"
Calavénë kissed the warrior, "You do feel this do you not? We do not need our bodies to experience love. Our bodies are merely the vessel to act out what we feel inside. Love me Haldir…"
Haldir nodded and kissed the elleth yet again. They made love to each other, revelling in the beauty of each other's fea. Their touch amplified to a thousand folds of pleasures. Their moans and whimpers flowed mellifluously into nothingness. For the very first time, their fear connected in a way it has never done before and when they lay together spent from their lovemaking, Haldir finally understood what it meant to love and be loved. To love meant surrendering yourself completely into the loving arms of another beautiful soul and to be loved meant having the same soul in your arms.
Calavénë snuggled closer to Haldir's body. Her fea felt stronger than before even though only slightly but it gave her faith once again. Faith that one day she would be reunited with her loved ones once again. Haldir held her close, stroking her arm as he kissed the top of her head. He had lost track of time and he wanted to continue to be oblivious to the outside world. He was happy, finally content to be with the one he loves. An airy kiss on his lips shook him from his reverie. Calavénë looked at him and smiled, "You have to go now…"
Haldir sat up, looking at the form beside him, "I would die if I have to leave you once again…"
Calavénë laughed, "No you will not… You are my Marchwarden, the pride and joy of Lorien. Go…"
Haldir watched as Calavénë's form turned to mist yet again and disappeared before him…
Haldir woke up abruptly. How long did he sleep? He looked around. The purple fires of the circle were gone. He looked out the window and he could see the sun shining bright and the birds chirping. It was a new day! He had slept throughout the night. He turned around and looked at the elleth beside him. He was beside himself with joy when he saw the pink blush on her cheeks. He stroked them and was further astonished when they were warm to his touch. He cradled her, whispering into her ears, "Le hannon… for fighting… I will find the cure for you."
A knock was heard at the door followed by Legolas' voice, "Have you risen mellon nin?"
Haldir placed Calavénë back in the bed, "Yes, enter Legolas."
Haldir was surprised to see not only Legolas, Lady Galadriel and Lord Celeborn too were present. Galadriel smiled at the ellon, "You have done well. Her condition has improved slightly than yesterday. Tell me… what happened?"
Haldir told the three of them what Calavénë told her. Galadriel nodded, "There is a cure after all… But what is it?"
"I believe it is Crescent Bloom…"
The four of them turned and were pleased to find Gandalf the White standing near the doorway. Legolas stood up greeting the old wizard, "Gandalf! It is good to see you again!"
Gandalf bowed to Galadriel and Celeborn, "My lord, my lady. Haldir! It seems I have arrived just in time…"
Haldir was impatient, "Crescent Bloom you say? What is it?"
Gandalf took a seat with the rest of them, "It is a flower. I have read it once in the book of my order. The Crescent Bloom is a flower that only blooms at night. It is a beautiful blue flower with a purple core. We need both the core and the petals to concoct a potion that could possibly heal her. But…"
Legolas looked at the wizard, "But what Gandalf?"
Gandalf sighed, "It only grows on mountain tops, covered in snow. It is a rare flower. The magic it contains could be used for many things. Sadly I do not know the exact location. If we were to search for it, we would have to…"
Haldir interjected, "Search every mountain in Middle Earth… Gandalf… That would take forever and Calavénë told me; she does not have much time."
Lord Celeborn stood up, "Then I would have a word with Thranduil. We would send out our wardens to search for it. They will not rest until one is found. Excuse me…"
Haldir watched as Lord Celeborn left the room. Galadriel approached him, "What more did she tell you henn?"
Haldir sighed, "She told me that with each passing day, our ion grows stronger and she grows closer to fading away…"
Galadriel nodded, "It is as I feared. Her body is indeed preparing for an early birth. What are we to do Mithrandir?"
Gandalf stood up, "There is not much we can do, I fear. We need to find the flower in less than three months for I fear she might deliver sometime soon. It will not be an easy task. Middle Earth has a lot of mountain ranges and some are high up, touching the sky."
Legolas approached the wizard, "Gandalf, would a bonding ceremony help save her?"
Galadriel spoke first, "No… A broken fea cannot be bonded to anyone. We must heal her first. This matter will not be as easy. We must make sure she is comfortable and rested. Come, the rest of us should leave them. Haldir still needs to bathe I gather."
Haldir smiled. He did crave for a bath. He watched as Legolas and Gandalf left the room. Galadriel lingered for a moment longer, "Her cheeks are blushed and her body warm. A union transpired between the two of you last night, did it not?"
Haldir could feel his face heat up, "Yes, my lady. It was unlike anything I have ever felt…"
Galadriel walked up to him and stroked his face, "That is what happens when two fear connect as one. I am happy I have experienced it with my lord. Good day Haldir. Rest."
Haldir bowed before the lady of Light and walked her to the door. He turned around and looked at the elleth in his bed. He climbed in and held her close, "Le melon…"
Dusk was nearing fast. It seemed Lord Celeborn and King Thranduil had come up with a plan to find the rare flower. Lord Celeborn had appointed four groups to travel east, west, north and south. The eastern group will be captained by Rumil, the western by Mebedir, the northern by Orophin and the southern by one of Thranduil's captain. The groups were to depart from Mirkwood on the morrow after breakfast.
Haldir went to his brothers and Mebedir. He was gladdened to see them and embraced each one of them tightly, "It is so good to see each of you again! Forgive me for leaving without a proper goodbye."
Mebedir raised his hand, "No need for apologies Haldir. We understand. Rest assured we will return with the flower soon."
Rumil patted his brother's shoulder, "Yes. I will not rest until we find the Crescent Bloom. I want to save Calavénë. She has returned my old gwanur back. Haldir O' Lorien, the one with the heart of gold, not of stone."
Orophin laughed, "Yes, we would definitely want her around to keep you in line. Come gwanur, join us for dinner. I would like your company before we leave tomorrow."
The four of them made their way to the dining hall. Haldir would have to trust them to conduct their duties for he cannot leave Calavénë now. He would cherish every moment he had with her. He prayed to the Valar and to Eru, to make this expedition a success. Calavénë's life depended on this small blue flower, the Crescent Bloom that only grew on mountain tops.
Mae govannen – well met
Hervess – wife
Hervenn – husband
Le melon – I love you
Entula en' templa! Lanta kaima! Edro gûr lín! – elvish spell which I won't translate, just to keep in mystical
Gwanur – brother
Ion – son
Fea – soul
Fear – souls
Henn – child
Mellon – friend
Mellon nin – my friend
The Crescent Bloom is a fictional flower I created. It is based on the green jade flower you see below:
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.