A Lady's duty - Book One of the Lorien Princess Trilogy (Legolas Love Story/ Lotr)

Authiel is the daughter of Celeborn and Galadriel, princess and heir to the throne of Lorien. In order to prove herself to her people and her parents, she goes to Rivendell in order to attend a secret council. But, when her duty and her destiny become entwined, she finds herself in a company of an elf, two men, a dwarf, a wizard and four hobbits. What will happen when she discovers something about herself - a mystery buried in time and darkness - and what will happen when the dark lord learns of her power in this tale? Will she survive?

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17. Chapter Sixteen - Home

The chortling sound of water gurgling was the first thing that reached my ears that showed we were nearing my kingdom. I sprinted past Aragorn and passed through the icy blue water that sliced across the glade. Jumping atop the large rock on in front of me, I looked out to the deep blue sky that framed against a range of mountains, which held a green gold forest behind.

We continued to sprint on and before long the waiting forest was in front of us; boarding a grassy field. Yet it did not look in its usual manner. Though the trees were stood tall, but the leaves were drooping from the branches. Each leaf, tree and clump of moss seemed to cry out and a voice reached my ears,

Where is she? Where is our Queen?

Slowly, I moved into the edge of the forest and I allowed my fingertips to grace the bark of the trees.

You have returned to us!

The rest of the Fellowship quickly followed after me, each looking at the tall and well-shaped trees covered in small clumps of moss. A smile filled my face as the familiar woodland breeze wrapped around me, cloaking me in the familiar scent of my home once more.

Hello my daughter, welcome home.

The misty voice of my mother filled my head and my smile grew slightly. As I slunk through the hanging leaves of green, I heard Gimli talking to the Hobbits in a not so quiet voice,

“Stay close young Hobbits! They say that a great sorceress lives in these woods, an Elf-witch, of terrible power. All who look upon her, fall under her spell …”

Rolling my eyes at him, I called over to them and said,

“You forget, Gimli, this ‘Elf-witch’ is my mother; and she, too, does not wish to be called a witch!”

“ … and are never seen again!” Gimli continued.

A soft continuous thud fell on the leaf covered ground and a smile curled my lips. I raised my hand and a branch curled around my wrist. Promptly, I was pulled up into the air and onto a covered branch above.

“Well, here’s  one Dwarf she won’t ensnare so easily. I have the eyes of a horse and the ears of a fox!”

Suddenly, a notched arrow appeared in his face and Gimli stared at it for a moment before saying,

“Oh ….”

A grin grew on my face as I watched as my companions were circled by a group of my kin with notched bows directed towards each member of the Fellowship. Legolas had also drawn his bow and was trying to point it at as many members of the group as possible.

“The Dwarf breaths so loud we could have shot him in the dark!” A familiar voice called.

A blond Ellon who I knew very well pushed his way through the crowd and looked over the Fellowship with eyes that were not amused.

Quietly, Gimli growled deep in his throat as I was slowly lowered to the ground once more.

I pressed my back against the tree, folded my arms across my chest and placed my right foot on the base of the tree trunk.

“Is this really how you treat our guests, Haldir, or are you just annoyed that I am not here?” I called.

                A silence filled the forest as the guards turned to face me, dropped into a bow and pulled my companions to the ground with them; their bows still drawn.

“It is wonderful to see you, my Lady!”

“My Lady?” I laughed slowly, “You only call me that if you are angry, you do not even talk to me in such a way when my Mother is present!”

Haldir smirked at me but I kept my lips firmly pressed into a straight line. But not for very long. Soon I was not able to hold back my laughter and I sprinted towards him, through the path which had already been made for me.

I collided with his chest as he wrapped his arms around my waist. He spun me around as I giggled into his shoulder. Eventually he let me down and I quickly pecked him on the cheek.

“It is magnificent to have you with us once more, Authiel. I should have known you were back, the trees have a renewed life in then and they are singing once more; something which only happens when you return.”

I smiled at him as he held me at arm’s length.

“You are fair to kind for your own good, Haldir.”

Looking around, I realised that the rest of the Guards of the Marsh still had their weapons locked on the rest of the Fellowship.

“Lower your bows, these Gentlemen mean no harm to our kin,” I explained.

“Yes, my Lady!”

Slowly, they did as they were ordered and the Hobbits were no longer clumping together with fear ridden expressions.

“May I?” Haldir asked, holding out his arm.

“You may,” I replied, taking his arm.

“Follow us!” I called with a smile, “And stay in front of the Guards of the Marsh at all times.”

                With elegance and grace, we strode through the darkening forest. Myself and Haldir in the lead, the remainder of the Fellowship behind us with the Guards of the Marsh bringing up the rear.

After sometime we came to a stop on a platform amongst the rustling foliage; the wind whistling around us in warm flushes of air as we stood.

“Mae govannen, Legolas Thranduilion,” Haldir said with a slight bow.

[Welcome Legolas, son of Thranduil.]

“Govannas vîn gwennen le, Haldir o Lórien!” Legolas replied.

[Our Fellowship stands in your debt, Haldir of Lórien!]

Haldir glanced across the group and his eyes fell on Aragorn.

“A, Aragorn in Dúnedain, istannen le ammen,” He brought his hand up to his heart and held it out to him.

[Oh, Aragorn of the Dúnedain, you are known to us.]

“Haldir!”

“So much for the legendary courtesy of the Elves, speak words we can all understand!” Gimli growled, catching Haldir’s attention.

“We have not had dealings with the Dwarves since the dark days.”

Not wishing  for a new war to break out, I gently placed a hand on his broad forearms; trying to calm him down.

“And you know what this Dwarf says to that? Ishkhaqui ai durugnul!”

[I spit upon your grave!]  

I rolled my eyes at Gimli and let out an annoyed sigh, but I was barely able to hold back the grin that was desperately trying to be plastered across my face.

Aragorn grabbed Gimli’s shoulder and looked at him with disgust,

“That was not so courteous!”

Haldir glanced at Frodo and his gaze lingered on the Ring which could just be seen beneath the tie of his cloak. Slowly he turned to face me,

“You bring great evil with you, Authiel.”

I nodded my head gradually, slightly fearful for what he answer was to be.

“You can go no further!”

Shock filled my eyes, and I dropped my hand from his arm in disgust.

“Haldir, andelu I ven. Henio, boe ammen veriad lîn!” I whispered, looking at him with sorrowful eyes.

[Haldir, the road is dangerous. Please, we need your protection!]

He looked at me once before walking away, not giving me a reply.

“Haldir!” I called after him calmly, not allowing my true emotion to be revealed, “Who is to rule over you next? Who is standing in front of you with a group of people who have suffered a great lose? Who is one of your greatest allies? Who … who …”

But I was unable to finish for a familiar sense of dizziness washed over men and a new seen became visible to me …

                On an icy peak, I watch the Balrog falling down the mountainside. Gandalf falls down and slowly closes his eyes. Death takes him as his nose bleeds; blood trickling down his face.

A bright light flashes and Gandalf vanishes.

My eyes grow wide in shock.

Another light flashes and Gandalf’s body reappears.

The wound at his nose is healed and he lies in the snow as naked as the day of his birth.

Then, Gandalf takes a gasping breath of air.   

                A blast of air painfully crashed into my lungs and I rolled to the side as I pulled my hands up to my throbbing temples.

“Valar!” I groaned as I massaged them, “Why is it that every time my visions are more frequent. I  feel as if I have been the victim of a Mûmakil stampede.”

Slowly, and rather painfully might I add, I sat up and looked at the crowd of people that had gathered around me; each with worried expressions covering their faces. All these people were members of the Guards of the Marsh, Haldir and the rest of the Fellowship had grown used to my ‘moments’ so they were all still in the places which they had previously been in.

“Are you alright, my Lady?”

“Are you hurt?”

“Do you need anything, ma’am?”

Thousands upon thousands of questions had been thrown my way and I soon had grown tired of it. I raised my hand and they were all promptly silenced them. The Ellon to my right took my hand in his and helped me to my feet. Courtesy, I nodded my thanks to him before I turned and found myself face to face with Haldir; well truly it was face to chest. I looked up at him and softly smiled at him, but the concerned look on his face would not break.

“How many visions have you been gifted with since you left here?” He asked.

“Of the ones that still linger in the visible folds of my mind, that was my …”I paused, raking through my brain as I did my best to remember, “… my seventh!”

“Seventh?!” He said, his eyes growing wide.

“Yes.”

“What was it on?”

“I … dare not say, unless I am in my Mother’s company!”

Haldir raised his eyebrows at me and slowly shook his head at the emotions that were festering inside of him.

“Please Haldir …” I whispered, a slight pout falling on my lips.

He opened his mouth, about to say something to me, but he hastily stopped. His eyes turned blank and he stared plainly ahead of him for a moment, blinking several times before he gave a slight nod and turned to face the rest of the Fellowship.

Looking none too happy, he said,

“You will follow me.”

Before we continued to walk, Haldir gestured for me to take his arm and I did so whilst a voice filled my head,

You are welcome, my Child.

                The cavern of Elves lead us along the ridge and through the familiar golden woods. We came to a halt at the end of a high ridge. Bellow us, behind the mists and under the gleaming setting sun, a great glade of trees rose over the rest of the world, green and gold, rays of light drifted from the branches of the trees.

“Caras Galadhon …” Haldir fondly said, “  … heart of Elvendom on earth. Realm of the Lord Celeborn and of Galadriel, Lady of Light.”

It took some time, but eventually we arrived at Caras Galadhon and we climbed a winding way among the great tree trunks, which I knew so well, as the last of the evenings light trickled through the tree trunks.

We ascended up a path until night finally did fall and in the blue glow of the moonlit night we climbed up a twisting stair around the trunk of a tree; past glimmering lights of fair silver and blessed blue.

Far above us, the silhouetted shapes of the shadowy tree branches looked and as we passed numerous passages, the fair palace which I fondly called home came  into view; lit with silvery lights that reminded me of the stars in the heavens. A curving walkway led us up a low stairway to an archway; three-pronged leaves of gold were scattered across the ground. I was not fazed by the scenery, it is my home after all and although I know it is beautiful I have grown used to it. The rest of the Fellowship, however, were staring at the scenery in awe.

Slowly, my company gathered in an archway and Haldir released our interlinked arms so that he could step one side.

A bright light filled the top of the stairway and slowly a Lord and Lady descended the stair, basked in the pure light, hand in hand. The light diminished quickly and my gaze fell on my parents. Galadriel’s gaze fell on me and she smiled fondly at me.

“Lellig!” She said in her soothing voice, holding her arms out to me.

[My daughter!]

Approaching them, I dipped into a curtsy before I stepped into her warming embrace.

“Naneth!” I whispered fondly.

[Mother!]

I stepped out of her arms and faced Celeborn who was smiling at  me warmly.

“Henig!” He whispered as I stepped into his arms.

[My child!]

“Adar!” I replied as he placed a kiss upon my head.

[Father!]

Once our reunion was complete, I took my place between them and allowed the meeting to continue.

“The Enemy knows you are here. What hope you had in secrecy is now gone. Nine are here, yet ten there were, set out from Rivendell. Tell me where is Gandalf? For I much desire to speak with him … I can no longer see him from a far …” Celeborn said.

“Gandalf the Grey did not pass the boarders of this land,” Galadriel said, sorrow filled her voice as she continued, “He has fallen into shadow …”

Promptly, I dropped my gaze as tears began to moisten my cheeks; I  did not wish for the others to see my sorrow.

“He was taken by both shadow and flame: a Balrog of Morgoth. For we went needlessly into the net of Moria,” Legolas explained when no one else volunteered to speak up.

From my side, I picked up the Celeborn’s almost silent, sudden intake of breath. His sorrow and surprise was evident to me.

“Needless were none of the deeds of Gandalf in life. We do not yet know his full purpose,” Galadriel paused as her gaze fell upon Gimli, whose head was bowed in sorrow.

“Do not let the great emptiness of Khazad-Dûm fill your heart, Gimli, son of Glôin. For the world has grown full of peril. And in all lands, love is mingled with grief.”

Gimli looked up at her when she spoke to him and Boromir began to weep when her gaze fell on him.

“What now becomes of this Fellowship? Without Gandalf, hope is lost.”

“The quest stands upon the edge of a knife, stray but a little and it will fail; to the ruin of all. Yet, hope remains whilst the company is true. Do not let your hearts be troubled. Go now and rest for you are weary with sorrow and much toil. Tonight, you will sleep in peace.”

                Bowing my head to my Mother and Father, I watched as they began to ascend the stairway once again that led to the private quarters of our hearth. Just before she disappeared from view, Galadriel looked down at us and fondly smiled at me. Her voice filled my head, whispering through the very folds of my mind, as I slowly turned to face my companions,

Once your companions have departed, come to our chamber for we have much to discuss, Henig.

[My child.] 

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