27. Everything Happens for a Reason
Chapter 27 Everything Happens for a Reason
He thought he would make it to Celeborn's talan without seeing her but he was wrong. Haldir rounded a staircase and found himself face to face with Caladwen. They stood silent and still as stone. Orophin, standing next to Haldir, gave his brother a slight push to edge him on. "I take my leave now, Brother." he said, bowing with the respect of a warrior. As he walked past Caladwen, his shoulder grazed hers. "Caladwen." he said acknowledging her and bowed his head. Then he was gone.
"You should not be here." Haldir said sternly.
"I hoped for a better response." Caladwen said softly and turned her eyes down so as not to look at him. Her heart was breaking to see the emptiness that she already felt. "I am only here out of worry. I have heard nothing from you in so long. Why did you stop writing?" She got right to the point.
"I stopped writing because you seemed to have found comfort elsewhere." he stated simply.
"I know not of what you speak. I have found no comfort since you left, except from your letters." She took a step towards him and he tensed. She felt his unease and stopped herself from going any closer. "What have you been told? Why do you avoid me as if I am poison?" Tears welled up in her blue eyes.
Haldir never could stand to see a female cry. To know he was hurting her broke his heart and the ice surrounding it. "Caladwen please, can we talk about this elsewhere?" he said, his voice softening a bit.
Caladwen returned his gaze with a fire in her eyes that resembled Eowyn's. "I will be going nowhere with you until you give me an explanation for this behavior. I will ask you again; what have you been told?" There may have been tears in her eyes but her voice was strong and severe.
"I have been told nothing. It is my own eyes that witnessed the fondness between you and the King's son, Eldarion. Clearly, your heart has changed its course."
Caladwen was confused and tried to think back to her time spent with Eldarion. "It's true I have been his friend for many years but there is nothing else between us. Besides, what is it you know about the Prince and me?"
"I know you spoke of love and he answered you fitfully. Do not pretend you do not know what I speak of."
Caladwen thought about what she might have said to give Haldir these thoughts. Suddenly it occurred to her about the lessons she had given him. "What exactly did you hear, Marchwarden?"
Haldir straightened his stance. "I will not discuss this any further. You know what was said between you both or have you lived amongst men for so long you think of me as a fool?"
Caladwen suddenly remembered a day when she was in the courtyard with Eldarion and they were practicing their elvish endearments. Was this what Haldir was talking about? Had he shown up looking for her and happened upon them in the middle of a lesson?
"There has been a mistake. Eldarion and I were speaking of love but not for…"
"I will hear no more of this absurdity. Whatever transpired between the two of you is your business. It has made me realize that I made the wrong choice to pursue a relationship other than your protector." he said, cutting her off.
Caladwen narrowed her eyes. "What are you saying, Haldir? Do you no longer love me? Do the feelings we felt towards each other mean nothing to you? Are you so arrogant that you could throw away anything we had just because you thought you witnessed something that did not happen? I thought you were different. I thought you had changed. I guess I was wrong to think you could ever be any different than what I was told my whole life." She took a step towards him and stared into his cold eyes. "If you could change your mind so easily without discussing it with me first, then maybe I cannot trust that you will be there when my life is in danger." She was beyond anger now. She was speaking irrationally. A lump formed in her throat as her eyes threatened to tear up again. She swallowed hard and fought her emotions. "I release you from your oath, Marchwarden. I feel I no longer need a Guardian. You are free of any obligations you feel you owe me." She paused and found her inner strength. "I don't need you anymore." she said slowly in a low tone.
The look Haldir gave her spoke a thousand words. In that last stare, Caladwen saw anger, confusion, sorrow and loss of love. It was too much to bear and she could take no more. She turned to run from him and accidentally ran into Rumil, who had just approached the couple. He held her by her shoulders and looked into her eyes. Tears threatened to fall as she looked at him. "I am leaving in the morning, Rumil. Please notify my company of our brief stay."
"But what has happened?" Rumil questioned.
"Ask your brother. He seems to know better than me." she said angrily and realized she was snapping at him. Tears ran down her cheeks and she could contain her emotions no longer. "I'm sorry Rumil. I need to go now. I need some time alone." she said and broke free from his hold. She ran as quickly as she could toward her talan but had already decided not to stay there for the night. She would pack her things and head for the stables at the borders. She would rather travel through the night and wait for the rest of her company than stay in Caras Galadhon any longer.
After Caladwen ran off, Rumil glared at Haldir. "What did you say to her? Why is she leaving so soon?"
"It is for her own good. She should not give her heart to someone just yet, least of all me." Haldir said and let his shoulders slump slightly.
"I cannot help but feel you are making a mistake, my brother. Caladwen has chosen you. You may not see it, but I did." Rumil said. Haldir looked at him, confused. "Remember when she happened upon you in the glade? I saw the glow emanate from you both when your hands touched. It is written in legend that a light will form when the chosen one meets her soul mate. Caladwen is the Light of Lothlorien, there is no doubt. I believe you are the one to match her soul." Here he paused and anger grew across his brow. "But you are too adamant, inflexible… downright bullheaded to see it any other way. You are throwing away your only chance to love and be loved." Rumil was absolutely infuriated with Haldir. No one had ever seen him in such a state before and he never spoke to Haldir in such a tone. "Maybe she is right to leave. Maybe you do not deserve her love."
Haldir's eyes squinted into slits and stared at Rumil. Suddenly he saw something on his countenance he never noticed before. "You have feelings for Caladwen." he said accusingly.
Rumil glared at Haldir. "That is none of your business. What I see is an Elf so set in his ways he would blindly see something that never happened. You would rather let her go and make an enemy than face your fears and let love win over your stone cold heart. Caladwen deserves better than that."
Haldir held his composure and acted as if Rumil said nothing. "You wish it had been you she chose instead. I can see it clearly now. You hold a fondness for her. Tell me again why you were present to witness our faer in the glade? How much more did you see other times when we thought we were alone?"
"You will not change the subject, Haldir. Do not twist things and make this about me. If you must know, I did have a fondness for Caladwen. There was a time when I did wish it were me she loved but that has changed. I have met my mate but you would not have known. You are too busy being the Marchwarden, hiding your fears and building walls which none of us can penetrate, not even your own brothers." Rumil paused for a moment to catch his breath. He realized how harsh his tone sounded and calmed himself a bit. "It is not your fault that Mother faded. Nothing could have be done that could have changed what happened. It's not that she loved Father more than her elflings but that the bond she shared was much stronger. You should rejoice in the fact that our mother found a love so pure. We are a part of that love, the result of it. It is in us that our parents will live on. Don't you see, Haldir? That was their gift to us. Cherish it but do not hide it away and think wrongly of them." Rumil grabbed Haldir's forearm, forcing him to look into his eyes. "You have a chance that no other Elf in Middle Earth has or ever will. The Light of Lorien has seen love in its purest form and she has seen it in you, my brother. Do not think you are not worthy of her affections. There was never anyone more deserving. Because of you, she is a teacher. Let her teach the one who thought he could not learn. Be the student, Haldir. Let her into your heart. Tear down that forsaken wall and let love win, for Eru's sake." Rumil patted him on the shoulder and silently and slowly walked away. Haldir stood there a moment, not moving but thinking of what Rumil said. Did he really believe Caladwen was capable of leaving him and giving her love to another? Or was he using this false vision as an excuse to harden his already cold heart?
He went in the opposite direction of the talans. His mind was reeling and he needed some time to think. The last thing he needed was to run into Caladwen. He made his way to the pond of the Healing Waters. This was where he often went in his youth when his mind was heavy with thought. Sticking his bare feet into the water, he sat at the edge and gazed into it.
'When did things become so difficult? When did I begin to care what happened to her or what she felt? Why can I not bring myself to let her into my heart completely?' Haldir pondered these thoughts as the sound of the running water soothed his troubled mind. He thought about his conversation with Caladwen. He was not exactly fair with her, not letting her explain herself or the situation. Somewhere deep down, he knew what he saw was false. She would not abandon him for another. It was not possible for someone like her. However, he let his mind wander and take over these impure thoughts. Why?
"I sensed much turmoil in my woods this evening and it leads me here. Why is my most honorable Captain in such a state of despondency? It is so strong, I felt I had to come here to see for myself who emanates this agitation." came a soft voice.
"Lord Celeborn, I apologize for not reporting to you already." Haldir said.
"Do not trouble yourself any more than you already are. Orophin came to me in your stead. He knew there was a chance you're attention may have become diverted." Celeborn approached Haldir and sat next to him at the edge of the pond. They were silent for a while before Celeborn spoke again. "Galadriel often visited these waters. Sometimes her gift of foresight was too much and she needed to relieve her mind. This pond was meant to comfort the mind and soul. One only needs to touch the water and be alleviated of their inner pain. The Valar themselves blessed this pool for her. It is a difficult thing to hold the burden of others in one's mind and heart, especially for one of the Firstborn."
"That is something I know all too well, my lord." Haldir said in a whisper. "I think it is too late for me to change, especially my heart. I cannot seem to will it to behave any other way than the way I have become accustomed to."
"The heart of an Elf is the strongest part of the body yet it can be the most fragile at times. Our souls are so closely connected to it that to separate the two can cause death. One cannot survive without the other. It is why we will only ever love once in our long lives." Celeborn reached into his robes and pulled out a gem, red as blood and as bright as the sun. He held it in the palm of his hand and showed it to Haldir.
"It has such brilliance as I have never seen before. Was it a gift?" Haldir said starring at the jewel.
"Yes. It was a gift from my wife and yet another blessing from the Valar. Into this small stone, she poured her love and her soul. She knew how badly I wanted to sail with her. I always knew the day would come when we would be separated. I never told this to anyone before but the decision to bond with her weighed heavily upon my heart. I feared I would fade when the day came that we would no longer be together. Then she gave to me this very gem, a promise that we could never truly be separated and I would not fade without her. But truth be told, I would have made her my wife no matter what our future held. I could not ignore what my heart desired and neither should you."
At this last statement, Haldir turned away from Celeborn. "You are not the first to tell me this. Why does it seem everyone else knows where my heart lies except me? I cannot seem to see where this would lead. As difficult as your choice seemed then, you knew the Lady was a true Firstborn. There would be no choice for her to make someday. Your bonding to her would not change the fate of Men or the world."
"That could never be farther from the truth. Had we not joined, our daughter and granddaughter would never have been born. Elrond may not have become Lord of Imladris. Without Arwen, Aragorn may not have had the courage to step out of the shadows and claim his rightful place as King of Gondor." Celeborn paused and felt Haldir's confusion. "You and your brothers would not be here now if your parents never met and fell so deeply in love. Had they known how they would meet their end, they would still have had you three. Everything happens for a reason and to look back and think about what might not have happened is folly as it is to try to see the future. Only the heart knows what it truly wants. Let it be your guide. To give in to your emotions is not a sign of weakness or failure of a promise we made to ourselves."
"I understand what you are saying, my lord. What happened to Caladwen and I when I healed her was no accident. That too was meant to happen. I am afraid it may be too late now though. Caladwen has released me of my duty to her. I no longer hold an oath to her. You did not see the rage in her eyes. I do not believe she will ever speak to me again. It feels as though that path has been closed off to me."
Celeborn smiled. "A path is never truly closed once we know it exists. We can always find our way back, even if we become lost. Lady Eowyn and Lord Faramir are prime examples of that. Their path was littered with breaks and turns yet in the end they found each other. They will never truly be separated." Celeborn closed his eyes and it seemed as if a shadow fell upon him. "I'm afraid they must face one more departure from one another. The living may not follow the deceased. Faramir's time on earth ends soon. Prince Legolas will once again fulfill his oath and see Lady Eowyn through these dark days. Caladwen will need you too, even though she has stated otherwise." He opened his eyes and concentrated on Haldir's mind. Haldir felt the invasion. "Do not let her harsh words sway you from fulfilling your own oath. Soon you will leave for Emyn Arnen. I suggest you make provisions now, Marchwarden. She will not be home long before her need becomes great. You should be on your way before the next waxing moon and arrive before Lord Faramir leaves this world."
"I will do as you say my lord. I will go though I know not what I will find. At least I will see my friend once more before he passes."
Over the next few weeks, Haldir got his affairs in order and started his journey to Gondor. He took this time to think about Caladwen and how she would accept his arrival. They had not spoken to each other since their argument. He decided to put his energy towards seeing Faramir once more. He was a friend and the Marchwarden did not have many. Eowyn was also his friend and she would want him there. Maybe he could comfort Caladwen too, though he was unsure what her reaction would be when they met again.
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.