Arvariane Estel - Chapter I - Sparring Lessons
Afternoon, 800 years later, The Third Age 1619, Rivendell
Known as Ariane amongst those who knew her, Arvariane Estel of Rivendell, daughter of Lord Glorfindel, watched closely the twin sons of Elrond, Elladan and Elrohir, sparring with their wooden two-handed glaives inside one of the three training arenas of the garrison. Bordered by trees to one side and marble seats on the other, the arena was relatively small and oval, as Ariane, who looked only to be a teenager by human standards but in fact centuries old, sat with her father and her long time friend Arwen as the two twins began to quicken their pace with their swords.
"See how he parried and then made a false move," Lord Glorfindel pointed out to his daughter, who bore the poignant features of his wife, dark hair and a delicate, sweet face, as the younger of the twins, Elrohir deflected an oncoming blow from his brother and then faked a deep upper cut, instead hitting his brother on the thigh. "You must be wary of everything, Ariane. As elves, we pride ourselves in sensing danger and using our wits to fight our enemies."
"But I thought strength had something to do with it too, father?"
"Aye, that is true in many cases. But in your case Ariane, since you are physically weaker than the male elf, I want you to use your head and your proficiency in dexterity."
Ariane turned to her long time friend. "Arwen, your brothers look really into it," she commented at the ferocity of the twin's fighting habits.
"Well they have been practicing 100 years longer than you have," Arwen pointed out.
"But you will do fine! My brothers will probably think that you are weaker than them, because you are a she-elf, but they will soon learn not to underestimate women."
Arwen smiled wickedly at her friend who in turn grinned mischievously. Turning back to the fighting, the twins looked to be several years older than their sister, Arwen and her friend Ariane, but in fact 100 plus years separated their birth dates. Like many elves, Ariane would age quickly through her first 1000 years of life, to which she would then come of age and then stay the same appearance for the rest of her years.
Born 78 years after that of Arwen Undomìel, since Ariane was a child her elders had treated her differently somehow. Instead of being sent to the House of Healing, like many other females at the age of 100, to learn from Arwen's mother, Celebrìan, Ariane went straight to garrison to learn sword craft and archery, under the guidance of her father. At the age of 200, her father only then slowly introduced her to the philosophies of Valar and the History of Arda. Now that Ariane was coming closer to the 1000-year mark, training seemed to intensify and the balance between her studies and swordcraft became more and more demanding. She would spend one week in the Library of Knowledge studying Elvan philosophy, healing and tactics and the other practicing archery, horseback riding and swordsmanship.
Elladan and Elrohir were both elegant swordsmen as most elves were. Both ducked and parried each other's swords, as they were swift with their strikes and brutal in retaliation. The training between the two brothers ceased when Elrohir swiped the sword from his brother's hand and stalked down his brother to the ground.
"Bravado! Bravado!" Lord Glorfindel applauded the twins, as Elrohir helped his brother up. "Both of you have become very attuned to your swordcraft. Your father, Lord Elrond, will be proud to hear of your progress."
"Thank you, Lord Glorfindel!" the twins said.
"Do you think we will be able to pass the coming of age?" Elladan asked, as he dusted himself off.
"Without a doubt!" Lord Glorfindel encouraged. "But before you two leave, I want Ariane to practice. Ariane, are you ready?"
"Yes, father. Who am I to train with? E-One or E-Two?" Ariane joked with the brothers, as she rose to stand next to her father, her hair plaited up tightly and wielding a sword and shield.
"Elrohir, since he won the training session. Elrohir, prepare yourself."
Elrohir gestured for Ariane to join him at the centre of the arena as Elladan came to sit next to her father. "Come on, A-Two. Let us see what you have got."
"You'll be feeling o'lota' pain tonight!" Ariane said playfully in a child's voice, as she held up her weapons.
"Oh! I doubt that, little missy!" Elrohir went along, readying his weapon.
"Come on you two. Enough jest," Lord Glorfindel hushed, as he settled back into his seat. "Now pretend this is a real fight, like always. And do not go easy on her Elrohir, just because she is female."
"I won't, Lord Glorfindel."
Ariane and Elrohir steeled themselves, waiting for the other one to attack first. Moments later, Ariane thrust her sword towards Elrohir. Deflecting it easily, Elrohir tried to find an opening to hit Ariane back. Having a slight advantage in defence, Ariane moved her shield to deflect an oncoming blow.
Elrohir began to attack Ariane quickly, cutting and bludgeoning with the blunt end of his glaive. He was so quick that Ariane had only time to deflect and not attack.
"Ariane, stop being on the defensive all the time!" she heard her father's voice command.
Ariane tried to find an opening for an attack, but Elrohir was too quick. She then noticed him getting a little slower as he continued to hack at her. This is my chance!
The next time Elrohir came in for an upper torso cut, Ariane used her shield to deflect the blow at the same time jabbing Elrohir in the side. Hitting him square on in the ribs, Elrohir was shocked he let one get through.
"Well done, Ariane!" Arwen cheered and applauded.
Elrohir then began slicing through again on the offensive, but it was too late. Ariane had picked up her pace and started using both her shield and sword as weapons, pushing Elrohir back so quickly, that in seconds he was on the other side of the arena on the defensive. He then saw his brother come up behind her and smiled slightly.
Ariane pushed her opponent back and was about to finish Elrohir, when she noticed her opponent's facial expression change vaguely. Without a second thought, Ariane quickly did a side step, missing a blow that was going to come from behind. Whooph! as the air was driven out of Elrohir's lungs.
Ariane stood bewildered as she saw the two brothers clash. She could hear Arwen's hysterical laughter as Elladan's glaive whacked his brother in the side. Elrohir crouched over in pain, as Elladan quickly apologised.
"Brother, I am so sorry! Are you all right?"
"Nay!" Elrohir squeaked, as he held his side bending over.
After a few moments Elrohir regained his composure, the two brothers looked at each other and then at Ariane, who stood with a bewildered face. They began to approach her and attack. Ariane snapped out of her surprised daze the moment the brothers had regained their senses. I cannot believe I avoided that! Elladan and Elrohir came charging at her, Ariane trying to deflect blows left right and centre.
Meanwhile, three elves, all fair-haired and striking, entered the arena via the spectator stands dressed in the robes of the Servant of Galadriel.
"Chief Commander, Lord Glorfindel!" the leading elf called out.
Lord Glorfindel turned to see the three guardians of the northern Lothlorien borders Orophin, Rùmil and Haldir of Lorien come to the front to greet him.
"Orophin of Lorien!" Lord Glorfindel greeted. "I did not expect you all to come so early in the afternoon, otherwise I would have greeted you at the gates."
"Nay, my Lord Glorfindel. We thought it be best to be early rather than late," Rùmil answered.
"And is this the young Haldir I have not seen for 5 centuries?" Lord Glorfindel looked at the third elf, which appeared to be the same age as the twins. "My words have you grown."
"My Lord Glorfindel," Haldir bowed his fair head in respect.
"You have come of age already, yes?"
"Aye, my lord. My brothers and I, on the order of Lord Celèborn and Lady Galadriel are to escort her Lady Celebrìan back to the Woods of Lothlorien," Haldir explained his presence there in Rivendell.
Lord Glorfindel nodded in understanding. "Please come and join me for a few moments. I must oversee to the practice of my daughter and Lord Elrond's twins first."
The three elves nodded and joined Lord Glorfindel and Arwen in the front of the arena, watching the novice warriors do battle against each other.
The twins began to get more ferocious in their attacks against Ariane. They knew she was physically weak so used their strength to bore on Ariane like there was no tomorrow. Ariane could not help but be overwhelmed by the shear strength of both twins fighting her and in the end lost her sword in the process of defence. Still, Ariane fought with just a shield, blocking their assaults. They had pushed Ariane back against one of the edge pillars of the small arena when Lord Glorfindel commanded them to stop.
"Halt!" Lord Glorfindel commanded, before the twins swiped Ariane on either side. The twins' glaive stopped in mid-air as Ariane was hunching over and defending herself with the shield, ready for a hard blow.
"That is far enough!" Lord Glorfindel said, as he approached the trio with Arwen. "Sheath your weapons. You all have done exceptionally well, especially you my dear. You handle the surprise attack rather adequately."
"Well done, Ariane! Told you not to underestimate her!" Arwen said pointedly to her brothers.
Ariane peered out from under her shield at her father. The twins sheathed their glaives and both helped Ariane stand. Lord Glorfindel looked at all three elves and smiled widely. "I am proud of you all."
He then turned to face Orophin, Rùmil and Haldir, three elves Ariane had never seen before in her life.
"Orophin, Rùmil, Haldir, come," Lord Glorfindel gestured to the three Silvanian elves. "I presume you all know the sons of Elrond, Elladan and Elrohir?"
"Of course," Orophin confirmed. "Who could forget the faces of Elrond?"
"Tis' been a while since we last saw you, but I am sure you remember Haldir?" Rùmil gestured to his younger brother.
"Aye! We were all competitors when we were young," Elladan greeted Haldir as an old friend, by locking fists together and clasping each other on the shoulder.
"It has been far too many centuries, Haldir," Elrohir said, as he did the same after his brother.
"Tis' has been."
"And this is my daughter Arvariane Estel, whom I believe none of you have met," Lord Glorfindel introduced his only daughter. "Ariane, these are the Sentinels of the Golden Wood, Orophin, Rùmil and Haldir of Lorien. They protect the northern borders of Lothlorien."
The three Silvanian elves bowed to Ariane. Ariane returned their greeting in kind.
"Lord Glorfindel, you did not mention your daughter being amongst your talented warriors?" Rùmil commented, as he referred to observing Ariane's fighting technique. "You have shown good defence skill."
"Thank you, my lord Rùmil," Ariane accepted the compliment with a small smile.
"Does she have knowledge in the Valar?" Orophin inquired to Glorfindel fascinated that a female elf could fight.
"Of course, she does. She studies it during the alternate weeks of the year," Lord Glorfindel answered. "But enough chatter. We must take you to his lordship, Elrond and his wife Celebrìan. You three students of the sword go back to the garrison and get changed into something more appropriate and then go straight to the court of Elrond. Arwen, myself and our Lothlorien kinsfolk shall meet you there."
"Aye, sir!" the Elven trainees answered together, saluting by putting a fist to their hearts.
Bowing to their kin one last time, Elladan, Elrohir and Ariane turned and marched smartly out of the arena, once out, running quickly to the garrison change rooms.
Several weeks later, Sparring Arena, Rivendell
The morning air blew coolly across the garrison's open arena. The solid sound of clashing wooden swords filled the arena with a beat. Rùmil dressed in simple light grey robes, stood watching closely two elves practicing their swordsmanship against each other.
"Haldir, move your arms more freely or she will swipe you!" the tall elf, Rùmil, commanded.
Haldir, who was 1200 years by Elven standards, but looked only to be twenty, began moving his arms more freely. Haldir had arrived with his elder brothers, Rùmil and Orophìn, several weeks ago to escort their daughter and Lord Elrond's wife, Celebrìan, back to Lothlorien for a visit.
From the moment they met, Haldir was tolerant and respected Ariane's place amongst the Elvish warriors and both became instant friends, although 400 years apart in age and of opposite sex, they had formed a close friendship within a matter of days.
Both elves dressed in grey jerkins and suede slacks underneath leather armour, enjoyed laughing and playing together, especially when they got to practice their combat skills on each other. Haldir was armed with a long two-handed sparring glaive similar to that of the typical Elvish soldier, where as Ariane wielded a long sword and dagger, all weapons made to mimic that of the real arms, but completed with wood and blunt.
"Ariane, pick up your feet," Rùmil continued to command. "And do not SHUFFLE! You continue to shuffle!"
Ariane began picking up her heels as she moved back to protect herself from Haldir's blows.
Evading each other's hits, both the elves began to get more ferocious in their attacks. Jumping and slashing at each other, they had made their way to the edge of the sparring arena. Haldir jumped up on the stonewall edge to evade Ariane, but Ariane followed, still fighting each other viciously.
"You two get down from the edge!" Rùmil commanded, as he began to approach the two elves from across the arena. "You will fall and hurt yourselves badly!"
Both Haldir and Ariane did not seem to heed his word though. They continued to fight, when Ariane parried Haldir's blunt end of the glaive coming up to hit her. Both weapons clashed so loudly and with so much force that one after the other had lost their balance on the edge and had fallen over the wall, tumbling down the small hill gully, screaming.
Rùmil quickly ran over to the edge and looked at where they were going to land up.
"Oh dear! Lord Elrond is not going to be impressed," Rùmil dreaded, as he hastily made his way down to the entrance of Rivendell, where the Rivendell greeting party was meeting the Mirkwood Royal Entourage.
The greeting party of Elrond, joined by Orophin of Lorien, approached the entering Royal Entourage of Mirkwood. Lord Elrond, his wife, Celebrìan, who was fair and strikingly beautiful in her elegant shimmering grey gown, stood at the head of the group, with their twin sons and daughter, dressed in the formal wear of silver blue colours of the House of Elrond. All the high elves of Rivendell were also in the greeting party, standing tall and proud. Lord Glorfindel and Erestor in suede robes of light grey with their dark green Valar cloak and a young Malfanaion, known to those who love him as Figwit, in a silver grey V-neck robe, with forest green jerkin underneath.
The party of Thranduil however were all dressed in Mirkwood royal robes, which were long and of a glittering green, copper and silver with the etching of the House of Thranduil along the sleeves. Save only Thranduil, wearing plain green with golden edging, his son Legolas fitted in the same outfit but his robes going down to his knees, showing his dark green trousers and soft boots and Saelbeth, a guardian of Mirkwood, dressed in black robes, a golden brooch signifying his stature in the Mirkwood Realm.
"King Thranduil!" Lord Elrond greeted warmly, in Elvish. "It has been too long friend."
"Aye, it has been Lord Elrond," as King Thranduil met his long time friend in a warm hug. "My lady Celebrìan, you are still as radiant as ever!" Thranduil took Celebrìan's hand bent down to lightly kiss it.
"Thank you my lord. It has been since Elrond's and my wedding day since we last saw each other, yes?"
"Aye it has. Lord Glorfindel, you are looking well? Still head of the garrison?"
"As always, your highness," Glorfindel bowed his head in respect.
"We are so sorry to have heard about your wife's early departure to the Undying Lands, Thranduil. Her leaving must have been difficult," Celebrìan sympathised.
"Tis' was, but it was for the best. I trust you are keeping yourselves well though. I am sorry I did not come and pay tribute when I heard you had your sons and daughter."
"It is understandable, Thranduil. You have had some troubles in the Mirkwood realm according to sources in the East, not to mention the raising of your own son," Lord Elrond replied, eyeing the young Legolas.
Legolas at this age looked to be twenty, when in fact he was 1100 years old. His hair stopped just below his shoulders, but was fair and had delicate plaits. Wearing the royal robes of silver, he carried himself with a sense of pride at being the son of the king.
"Yes. This is my son, Legolas," the king introduced as he gestured for Legolas to come forward. "A fine swordsman and excellent archer, he is I believe one of our finest warriors in Mirkwood. He could certainly give the best warriors in your garrison a scare, Lord Glorfindel," Thranduil encouraged positively.
"Aye, I am sure he could. Depending on how long you are staying in Rivendell, your majesty, maybe we could hold a friendly competition?" Lord Glorfindel suggested.
"Well, that would certainly be of some interest to my son."
"It would definitely be of interest to me, on how my sons will perform before their coming of age," Lord Elrond stated. "King Thranduil, these are my children. The twins, Elladan and Elrohir and my daughter, Arwen Undómiel."
King Thranduil and Legolas acknowledged the twins with bows and a kiss on the hand to Arwen.
"You are as beautiful as your mother and grandmother, Arwen," Thranduil complimented. Arwen smiled in acceptance. "Lord Glorfindel, I heard you too had a daughter? Where is she?"
"Yes, your majesty. Arvariane Estel is my daughter. She would be here to greet you, my lord, but I asked for her to catch up on some training she missed out earlier in the week," Glorfindel explained his daughter's absence from the greeting party. "She is very strict and careful with her studies."
At that moment, the parties could hear a loud clash of what seemed to be two pieces of hollow wood smashing together. Suddenly a shrill came crashing down one of the small gullies leading into the entrance.
"Ahhhhhhhh!!" a voice yelped as the sound came down the hill beside the entry arches of Rivendell.
Crunch! Thump! The body of a young female elf, a few centuries younger than Legolas, came over an edge and landed on her face in the leaves at the side of the entrance, right beside the greeting party of Elrond, a wooden dagger falling beside her.
Moments later, another voice came screeching down the same gully, this time a male elf, appearing the same age as Legolas, landing ninety degrees on top of the female elf on his back, a wooden glaive and leaves falling on top of him. Oomph! as they both began to groan in pain. Both the greeting party of Elrond and Thranduil stared on in shock at the entrance of the two elves.
Several moments later, the she-elf, wriggled out from underneath the male elf. Her face covered with dirt and some scarring, her hair in a complete mess, she quickly shook her friend, oblivious of the greeting party's presence.
"Haldir! Are you all right?" the young she-elf cried as she helped her friend sit up.
Legolas recognised the male elf as his old friend, Haldir, groaning in pain as he sat up and held the back of his head.
"I think I hit my head," the Haldir complained.
"Ariane! What is the meaning of this?" Lord Glorfindel scolded the young she-elf, as he went to her side.
Both elves snapped out of their world and looked to where the voice came from. A look of utter surprise appeared on both their faces when they realised they had dropped into a formal welcome of a royal party. With embarrassed looks on their faces, both elves quickly dusted themselves off, sheathing their play swords and standing straight.
"We...we are sorry father," the she-elf stammered, as the younger elves in both greeting parties began to giggle. "Me and Haldir were just sparring."
"Sparring?" Lord Erestor glared at the two friends. "What sort of sparring? Plummeting down hills?"
"Well...we were practicing in one of the arenas, under Rùmil's guidance when..." Ariane began.
"When Ariane parried Haldir's glaive, which in turn made them fall over the wall with such a force that they brought each other over the arena edge," Rùmil filled in with a wide grin on his face, as he joined the greeting party from the stairs behind them. "I did warn them to stay away from the outer edge, but they seemed not to heed my words."
The two friends grinned sheepishly. Lord Elrond and Lord Glorfindel raised eyebrows at Rùmil then turned to the two dirty elves clearly not impressed by their informal entrance. King Thranduil smiled at the young friends misdemeanour and looked at his own son. Legolas seemed to keep a straight face and stare at the pair.
"My lord Thranduil, meet Lord Glorfindel's daughter, Arvariane Estel, and Haldir of Lorien," Lord Elrond introduced the two misfits, clearly unimpressed by their lack of respect.
"We are terribly sorry for dropping in and disrupting your greeting party, your highness," Ariane apologised quickly as she and Haldir, curtsied and bowed respectively, to King Thranduil. "We did not intend for this to happen."
"Yes, well...training is important," King Thranduil, said, a small smile on his face. "However, I must admit, it is the most interesting form of meeting and greeting my son and I have ever experienced from elves. How are you young Haldir of Lorien? You are no longer young, yes?"
"No, my lord. I have come of age, but it is good to see you again. And you my friend, Legolas," Haldir greeted warmly.
"Aye, it is good to see you old friend," Legolas replied, smiling and putting his hand on Haldir's shoulder. Haldir returned the gesture in kind.
After a few moments of awkward silence, the lords' of Rivendell faces seemed to soften. Lord Glorfindel looked at his friend for guidance as to what should be done with them. Lord Elrond nodded his head.
"You two are to go with her ladyship, Celebrìan and young Malfanaion to the house of healing, so you can both be cleaned up," Lord Glorfindel sighed. "Even though it was not any of yours fault, you must be punished for disrupting a royal greeting.
"Arvariane, you are to spend the rest of the day studying the Valaqueneta, at the end of which you are to recite who and what each Lord and Queen of the Valar did, the history of Valar in the beginning of the world and the nature of the Valar, by hart!"
A look of horror came across Ariane's face, as she had never liked reading the most complicated of the Silmarillion volumes, but then regained her composure. "Yes, father," she obediently accepted the punishment.
"As for you, Haldir," Lord Glorfindel continued, as he then turned to Orophin, stood straight faced but clearly unimpressed by his brother's entrance. "Orophin will decide on your punishment."
"Haldir, your punishment will be to go to the garrison this evening after the stable master has returned and assist him with the grooming of the horses, after which you will then proceed to the armoury and clean all the equipment there," Orophin declared.
"Brother, you know how many..." Haldir began to argue.
"I do not care, Haldir. That will be your punishment for disrupting the royal entourage," Orophin stood by firmly. "If you do not accept it, then I will have to give you something more substantial. You are lucky I did not give you the same punishment as Arvariane, because I know how much you dislike reading that volume."
Haldir then bit his tongue and accepted his punishment. "Yes, sir."
"Good," Lord Elrond said finally. Turning to his wife, who had a small smile on her face from the children's humbleness, he said softly. "My dear, please take these two elves with Malfanaion and heal their wounds."
"Of course, my love," Celebrìan answered. "I am sorry to leave this party so soon," she apologised to the King.
"It is understandable, my lady," King Thranduil bent down to kiss Celebrìan's hand in respect. "I look forward to see you at the welcoming feast."
Celebrìan smiled at the king for his respect. "Figwit, Arvariane, Haldir. Come along!"
All three bowed to the entourage of Mirkwood and then followed her ladyship back up the stairs towards the `House of Healing' in Rivendell, Ariane and Haldir both holding onto each other for support as they hobbled up the stairs.
Afternoon, Outside the House of Lord Glorfindel, Rivendell
Ariane wore a flowing, shimmering orange dress as she sat with a volume of Silmarillion in between her legs on the stone bench, the shining sun being cooled by the rising river currents of the River Bruinen. After getting cleaned up by Figwit and her lady Celebrìan, Ariane wore her hair down, her dark wavy locks coming down to her knees. Leaning against the wall behind her, all her hair flowing down the front of her, she looked up from the book she had spent the last several hours studying and put her elbow on the stone barrier, resting her face and gazing out to the rushing waterfall.
The Valar where in origin, the greatest of the Ainur who witnessed the Vision of Ilúvatar and so descended into Eä to fulfil the vision and create Arda. It seems that, in the first beginnings of the World, the four mightiest spirits came down into it; Manwë, Ulmo and Aulë to prepare it for the coming of the Children of Ilúvatar, and Melkor to claim it for his own domain, Ariane memorised the beginning of the chapter `The Valar in the Beginning of Arda'.
Damn it! I cannot believe I lost her bracelet! Ariane scolded herself, as she felt her wrist in the place where her mother's Ainur bracelet should have been. I must have lost it on the way down when Haldir knocked me over the edge!
Ariane was deep in anguish at the thought of losing the only memory of her mother, when an unfamiliar voice penetrated her thoughts.
"You know that is a most inappropriate seating position for a lady," Legolas commented, as he approached the barrier Ariane was leaning on.
Snapping out of her thoughts, she realised her legs spread holding up the book for her to read, instead of being stretch out across the bench. Quickly shutting the volume, Ariane swung round and put her legs together, pulling her dress over, embarrassed.
Legolas, dressed in the same robes as before, leaned on the stone barrier with his hands, looking out towards the waterfall of Bruinen. "You know, I quite enjoy the view from here."
"It is beautiful as it is also a gorgeous," Ariane replied turning her head back to the view.
"Aye, but it is not as beautiful or as gorgeous as some I have seen," Legolas said in an egocentric tone, as his eyes turned to Ariane. "Your attractiveness has captured me like a beautiful butterfly."
Oh what a charmer and poet! Ariane thought sarcastically, as she huffed in amusement at the Prince's attempt to charm her. Ariane had always thought of herself as an equal to that of a male elf warrior. Even though she was female of some stature in Elvish society, she was also taught to always respect other's above and below her and never demean them in anyway, save goblins and orcs, although she was willing to make exception to this royal. How dare he insult me like that! I wonder how he ever survived this long in his father's court. He is of age, still looks a little young though, but still thinks he can get his way with anyone.
"Well, then you must have not seen many."
"Aye, I have seen many, just no female that has surpassed your beauty, my lady," still quite sure of himself.
"Then you must have mistaken them for male elves, for a female elf is neither beautiful nor gorgeous, but exquisite," Ariane retorted bluntly.
"Are you comparing your beauty to that of a male?" Legolas replied, an expectant smile on his face, folding his arms.
"No. I am comparing your ill manners and that pompous tone of yours to that of an orc," Ariane insulted angrily. "Now if you will excuse me, I must get back to study."
Ariane could sense Legolas was taken aback by that remark, but did not let it show on his face. His eyes however were a different reaction all together. She then swept up the volume of Silmarillion and breezed past the Prince, in the direction of the Library of Knowledge. That will teach the royal to insult me and treat women like lesser beings.
Legolas stood stunned at the she-elf's reaction to him. Am I really that ill mannered and pompous? He thought. I must admit that she did see through my charade. Not very many females do.
Suddenly a stifled laugh came from the shadows of the gazebo behind him.
"She certainly got you, your highness," the familiar voice of Haldir, his long time companion, remarked, a broad smile on his face.
"Haldir, how many times do I have to tell you not to call me that?" Legolas scolded his friend. "Legolas, Legolas is my name."
"Aye Legolas, son of Thranduil, Prince of Mirkwood," Haldir corrected himself. "I forget that you hate being called by your title."
"It is something I do not like getting thrown around. I find it rather exasperating and should you not be with the stable master cleaning the armoury?"
"Yes, but the stable master does not return until evening from his daily scout of the outer borders." Legolas nodded a small grin of amusement coming to his face.
"Why did you put your swooning line to Ariane, and in such a arrogant tone?" Haldir asked, shaking his head. "She is no ordinary she-elf, one that you can seduce and bed easily with. Believe me I tried," Haldir remembered trying to swoon Ariane a week ago.
"I realise that. I should have known better than to mess with a female that elegant and poignant," Legolas discerned, complimenting the she-elf's beauty and intelligence. "Much like Lord Elrond's daughter, Arwen."
"Aye, but Lord Glorfindel's daughter is a great deal more than she appears," Haldir commented on his girl friend.
Legolas stared at his companion. "That was Lord Glorfindel's daughter?!?!"
"Yes. Did you not recognise her as Arvariane Estel?" Haldir asked, shocked by his friend's naive behaviour.
"Arvariane Estel! Alas, NO!" Legolas cried out in his mistake. "I did not recognise her as the messy girl that was your friend this morning!"
"Legolas, you must have lost some of your mind. How could you have not sensed her presence to be the same as the woman you saw next to me this morning?"
"But, you said her name was Ariane?" Legolas pointed out.
"True. Her name is Ariane. Arvariane Estel, known as Ariane amongst those who care about her," Haldir answered simply.
Legolas put his hand to his face in embarrassment. I cannot believe I did that! What an orc! Legolas insulted himself. "But no matter my friend, Ariane does not hold a grudge easily. I must ask you though, not to offend her like that again," Haldir insisted politely.
"Do you have some sort of feeling for her, Haldir?" Legolas was quick to question.
"Noooooo!" Haldir answered hastily, although he was not quite sure himself. "She and I have become close friends in the time my brothers and I have been here in Rivendell. I would be very upset to see her hurt gravely."
"So you would protect her, someone who you have known for a few weeks, rather than me, whom you have known since 300 years?"
"I did not say that Legolas," Haldir answered, getting annoyed at his friend's resentfulness. "I would protect anyone of my friends regardless. Just be wary of who you speak to like that next time. She is far from being naïve, even though she is not yet of age."
"Aye, forgive my pettiness. I know where your loyalties lay, Haldir," Legolas answered rueful. "I now just wish I had been more aware and not offend a jewel such as her like that and I am sorry if I have offended you."
"You are still learning, my friend. You have just passed the coming of age for an elf and remember I have 100 years more experience than you. Come, let us catch up on events before I begin my punishment this evening."
Legolas laughed energetically at remembering his friend's punishment for disrupting the greeting party earlier on today, before Haldir stared at him annoyed. The two elves then began to converse about the time they had been separated from each other's company.
To be continued....