A Daughter of the King - Chapter Forty-One
Elwen stood, gazing at the sunrise. She was relaxed, glad that they were going to Lorien that day. Suddenly, Elwen saw a figure running towards the river. She tensed, sword raised, and then saw that it was Haldir.
"What is wrong, Haldir?" Elwen called.
"There are bands of orc attacking the far side of the river. We need you and your companions to come help!" Haldir yelled back, "There are reinforcements coming from the city but I don't think they will arrive in time."
Tethcelebel leaped onto her horse, "Let's go!" she cried, whispering words into her horse's ear. Elwen joined her, and they raced away down the river. Ohtarwen and Mandy followed. Haldir caught their eyes, his twinkling.
Tethcelebel and Elwen reached the spot first. They saw Elves' bodies strewn about the forest floor, with helms off and shields cloven in two. Tethcelebel let out a cry and raced into the midst. She saw Orophin lying facedown, blood trickling from a wound on his head.
Elwen slid down from her horse, grasping the mane tightly. Haldir, Ohtarwen, and Mandy arrived at the scene, eyes wide with shock.
Tethcelebel knelt beside Orophin, her hand shaking slightly. She placed a hand on his shoulder and rolled him over.
"Hello Celebel," he said.
"Ai!" Tethcelebel screamed in surprise leaping up.
Suddenly all the Elves around them leapt up, laughing and brandishing swords. Elwen and Tethcelebel glanced around, confused. Most of the Elves had deadly wounds, if not fatal. Then they heard the sound of merry laughter. They turned to see Haldir, Ohtarwen, and Mandy laughing from atop their horses.
"You!" Elwen pointed at them angrily.
"What?" Ohtarwen asked innocently.
"You...you...human!" Elwen's face was red with anger, trying to find the right words.
"Ah the cleverness of me! I told you to watch your back, Elwen," Ohtarwen answered, eyes sparkling, "and consider us even."
"Even?" Tethcelebel said, her voice shaking, "You call frightening us to death getting even?!"
"Twas not my idea for Haldir to make it seem that they were all dead," Ohtarwen shrugged, "I merely asked him to get you to think Lorien was being attacked. Though it did add a nice touch." Ohtarwen told Haldir.
"Thank you," Haldir grinned, "I thought you'd like it."
Tethcelebel shook her head angrily and walked away. Elwen's lips started twitching and then she burst into laughter. "You did a good job, mellon," she said, "We are even."
"Is Celebel going to be alright?" Mandy asked worriedly.
"Yes," Elwen nodded, "she just needs to relax. I think seeing
Orophin dead gave her quite a scare. Even though she has no wish to marry him, he is one of her oldest and dearest friends. To have him dead would be a great blow to her...adding to other things she has already been witness to."
"Oh," Mandy glanced at Orophin who smiled at her. Then he followed Tethcelebel out of the clearing.
"Celebel?" Orophin said softly.
"Yes?" Tethcelebel turned to look at him, wiping tears from her eyes.
"Are you alright, mellonnin?" Orophin came closer to her, "Twas just a joke."
"I know," Tethcelebel said softly, "it is just that...I did not want to see anymore Elves dead. Not after..." she shook her head, turning away. Her shoulders shook with sobs as she tried to explain, "You were not here, Orophin, not while Lorien burned. I saw so many Elves--Elves, Orophin, my kin--die. I could not kill enough to repay the slaughter that the Dark Lord did. I saw friends I had known since childhood get killed. Slain by the Dark Lord, and I could do nothing ." Her voice was bitter, "I have never....I wish I had stayed at Caras Galdhron as my grandmother wished."
"You cannot change the past," Orophin comforted her, drawing her into his embrace. His hand stroked her hair, "You cannot change what has been done. Be at peace, they are in the Halls of Mandos and are happier there."
"Oh Orophin," Tethcelebel cried, clinging to him as a sister does to a brother, "I do not wish to stay in Arda any longer! I want to sail on the Grey Ships...I went down to the Sea with Legolas after the Great Battle...and I can find no rest here." Her voice shook with the greatest yearning that Orophin had ever heard.
Orophin looked at her, eyes sympathetic. "Then sail,
mellon." he said softly, eyes sad, "Sail."
Tethcelebel looked at him. "Ai, mellon," she shook her head, "I cannot. My time has not yet come. I am the granddaughter of the Noldor, ever forbidden to return to Valimar..." She turned from him, glancing up at Vása* as she slowly rose, covering the forest in her golden sheen.
"Then come," Orophin took her hand, "I, for a little while, will try to ease your unrest. Tonight is the banquet, you know."
"Aye," Tethcelebel grinned, brushing her tears away, "I will enjoy that."
"And I claim all the dances right now," Orophin laughed.
"No," Tethcelebel laughed out loud, "for I must dance with others as well. But I will dance many with you before the night is out, agreed?"
"Agreed," Orophin smiled and led her back to the clearing.
The night of the banquet was clear and crisp. The moon shone down on the clearing, bathing it in a pale blue glow. The girls entered the clearing, answering the many calls of welcome. Ohtarwen walked over to Galadriel and Celeborn.
"Greetings Ranger," Galadriel said softly, her eyes smiling, "I am glad you came for a visit, Ohtarwen."
"Hanta lle," Ohtarwen lowered her head in respect, "I have missed Lorien very much."
"You have sorrow," Galadriel smiled sadly at her, "the battle has done great harm as well as great good. There are many who will not return from it."
"Aye," Ohtarwen answered darkly, "but I will repay their deaths any way I see fit."
"Peace Ohtarwen," Celeborn stopped her with a look, "enjoy the feast and do not bring the sorrow and hate of that battle here."
"I am sorry, Lord Celeborn," Ohtarwen took in a deep breath, "I will enjoy the feast."
"Celebel?" Orophin grinned, "My dance now?"
"Oh very well," Tethcelebel rolled her eyes and glared at her friends, "not one word out of you three!" she muttered softly. She walked gracefully off with him, her hand resting on his arm comfortably.
"They do make a nice couple," Mandy said quietly, "Why does she not want to marry him?"
Ohtarwen and Elwen choked on their wine as they both started laughing. They wiped tears of merriment from their eyes, and Elwen tried to explain.
"Well," she started, "they have been friends for their whole lives. They have always done things together...in fact they used to get into quite a lot of trouble. Haldir was their teacher for swordplay and archery. I have never seen such an equal skill in two persons as they have. It is just that..."
she stopped, not knowing what to say.
"Celebel has no wish to marry," Ohtarwen said it for her, "She doesn't want to get married."
"She is afraid to?" Mandy questioned, looking at them.
"Afraid?" Elwen said, shaking her head, "No, she is not afraid. She is very courageous when she needs to be...especially on the battlefield. She saved my life more than one time during the Great Battle."
"Then why doesn't she?" Mandy shook her head confused.
"She...she saw many husbands killed. And she knows what kind of pain their wives are going through. She has no wish to sit at home while her husband goes to fight and not know whether or not he will return alive." Ohtarwen answered for Elwen.
"Oh," Mandy looked compassionately at Tethcelebel dancing with Orophin, "she is not afraid to marry...she is afraid to love."
"No," Elwen said softly, "she is afraid to lose the person whom she loves."
As the night waned on, Tethcelebel was coaxed into singing a song. She convinced Mandy to sing with her, and together they transported the Elves to a different time and place.
"Very beautiful!" Haldir came up to them, "Very well-done."
"Thank you, Haldir," Tethcelebel said rather coldly.
"Oh come!" Haldir shook his head, "You are not still angry with me for playing the joke on you, are you?"
"Maybe a little," Tethcelebel answered, though her lips twitched slightly.
"Please forgive me," Haldir said laughing, "if I had known twould upset you, I would not have done it."
"I know," Tethcelebel laughed suddenly, "and itwas well-done."
"There, you see?" Haldir grinned, "And now I have come to ask Aarien for a dance. I have not had the pleasure this whole evening. And since Legolas is not here, I think twould be a good time."
Mandy glared angrily at Ohtarwen and Elwen who waved at her innocently. She strolled off with Haldir to the dance floor, leaving Tethcelebel by herself. She walked over to the table and sat down next to her friends.
"Ah," Ohtarwen said, leaning back, "I haven't been to a feast in a long while."
"Just like old times, eh?" Elwen grinned.
"Ah yes, old times," Tethcelebel laughed, "We had a good many adventures, didn't we?"
"Had and did?" Elwen said in a shocked voice, "My dear cousin, we still do!"
"Of course," Tethcelebel smiled amusedly, "I had forgotten. Mayhap I should rephrase that to: we had a good many
adventures that got us into trouble?"
"Well," Elwen rolled her eyes, "if you put it that way."
"Oh," Ohtarwen laughed, "I do believe we did."
"What do you meanwe?" Elwen laughed, "We were the ones who befriended you and--shall we say?--started you on your adventures."
"Alright," Ohtarwen shrugged, "you did start me onto my own adventures. But we did have some wonderful times together, didn't we?"
"Aye," Elwen's eyes twinkled mischievously, "especially when you got yourself kidnapped."
"And then had the sense enough to wander away from the camp." Tethcelebel laughed.
"I was drugged!" Ohtarwen protested, "What did you expect me to do?"
"Peace, mellon," Elwen slapped her shoulder, "we are just teasing you." All three looked up when Mandy came over and sat down wearily. "You danced more than one I think," Elwen stated.
"I danced five!" Mandy said breathlessly, "And I don't think I want to do anymore...this is worse than all the hobbits asking me to dance!"
"Well then," Tethcelebel stood, "I suggest we rescue our dear friend Aarien from her fate." She winked at the others.
"Come," Elwen said, "let's get out of here."
So saying the four friends sneaked out of the clearing. They walked down silently down the street until they arrived at the biggest Mallorn. Then they climbed the stairs and talked most of the night away in Mandy's room. When Galadriel came to find them, she laughed softly. Tethcelebel was sprawled on the couch asleep while Mandy was on the bed. Ohtarwen and Elwen both were on the floor, lying on-top of several blankets.
"Quel du, (Goodnight)" Galadriel murmured, turning off the lamps. She closed the door softly.
Tethcelebel stirred as she heard the door click. She heard the faintest whisper of a skirt. She rolled over smiling, knowing that it was her grandmother. So the night passed and the four friends slept peacefully and easily, more so than in a long time.
Vasa: Noldor name for Sun
before you guys start saying waht a horrible joke, the bodies were all haldir's idea. elwen just wanted to make them think that lorien was in trouble.
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